Saturday, July 2, 2011

CIVIL WAR WEEK FEATURES LIVE ENCAMPMENT, LECTURES

CRAWFORDSVILLE, IN, July 2, 2011— The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum is commemorating the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a lecture series and live encampment that will dynamically illustrate the hardships and triumphs of that era.

Three free, in-depth lectures on some of the Civil War’s most compelling subjects will be held at the Museum beginning this week.  On Thursday, July 7 at 7:00 p.m., the Museum will be hosting Jeannie R. Regan-Dinius from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources as she discusses the Underground Railroad in Indiana, including its history in Montgomery County.  The following evening, July 8 at 7:00 p.m., Joan Flinspach of Presenting the Past will talk about famed Civil War Photographer Matthew Brady.  On Wednesday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m., living history presenter Donna McCreary will illustrate the life of one of the nation’s most controversial First Ladies in “Mary’s Legacy According to Her Son Robert Lincoln.”  These lectures are free but space is limited; call the Museum at 765-362-5769 or email study@ben-hur.com to reserve a seat.

The scent of campfires and the sounds of Stephen Foster songs will fill the air once again at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum for its annual Civil War Encampment weekend, July 9 and 10.  The Museum’s partnership with the Mid States Living History Association, Inc. allows visitors a rare chance to dig deeper into the experience of life as one of General Wallace’s rank-and-file soldiers.

Mid States, an Indianapolis-based group comprised of living history interpreters from throughout the Midwest, will present several activities on the Museum grounds over the course of the weekend that offer a greater insight into life as a Civil War soldier or civilian.  In addition to live demonstrations of camp cooking, construction, medical care, music, telegraphy and artillery training, visitors will have the chance to interact with both General Lew Wallace and the Governor of Indiana during that critical time, Oliver Morton.

“Our Encampment weekends are always popular,” said Associate Director Amanda Wesselmann.  “It’s an immersive experience that lets visitors really appreciate what General Wallace and his soldiers had to endure during the Civil War, much more so than they could just by reading a book or sitting in history class.”

The live activities include “School of the Piece,” an instructional training exercise for cannoneers that demonstrates the degree of textbook and practical training required to function on the field of battle.  Visitors will also be invited to participate in infantry training drills using toy “Woodfield” (wooden) rifles.  Demonstrations in Civil War-era medical care, camp construction and cooking will also be held throughout the weekend.  New this year will be a sharp-shooter display and a ladies’ tea.

Visitors are invited to experience the live drama of the Civil War on Saturday, July 9 from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, July 10 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum in Crawfordsville.  For further information, contact the Museum at 765-362-5769 or email study@ben-hur.com.

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