Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Look Back at GLWSM's Civil War Week 2011

From July 7-13, 2011, the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum hosted some terrific events to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.
On July 7, Jeannie Regan-Dinius, Director of Special Initiatives, Division for Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, spoke to a packed Carriage House about the history of the Underground Railroad in Indiana.  The audience response was such that the Museum is making plans to bring Regan-Dinius back for a second engagement!

On July 8, Joan Flinspach, CEO of Presenting the Past and former President of The Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, illuminated the life and accomplishments of acclaimed Civil War photographer Mathew Brady for guests inside the Study.  The fascinating question-and-answer section afterward lasted almost until the sun went down!

The 7th Annual Lew Wallace Youth Academy completed its week of new experiences on July 9 with a visit to the Civil War Encampment, which was held on the Museum grounds on the weekend of July 9-10.  Academy students learned about Civil War-era surgery, embalming, armaments, and much more.

Throughout the weekend, visitors from throughout the Midwest met with living history interpreters from the Mid-States Living History Association to learn about the trials and triumphs of camp life during the tumultuous years of the Civil War.  Guests got to see a working telegraph, infantry drills and sharpshooter demonstrations, ladies' teas, camp music and seminars on saving history with the Curator of Social History at the Indiana State Museum, among many other things.

On July 13, guests were treated to an inside look into the private life of controversial First Lady Mary Lincoln during the lecture "Mary’s Legacy According to Her Son Robert Lincoln" by Donna McCreary, an award-winning living history presenter, educator and historian.

Civil War Week 2011 was an enormous success, and the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum staff would like to thank all of our partners for helping make it happen!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


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 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