Civil War Weekend planned Feb. 10-12

The Civil War began in 1861 and lasted until 1865.

Activities began last year throughout the county to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war.

This year, two Union County organizations are joining together to present activities to remember the Civil War.

The Shawnee Hills Art Council at the Anna Arts Center and the PAST organization of Union County plan to sponsor a Civil War Weekend Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 10-12.

The events planned during the Civil War Weekend will feature Abraham Lincoln stories and the involvement of Southern Illinois people of that time, especially those who served and died in the service of their country.

A Civil War history exhibit contest will be a featured event.

Exhibits will be on display at the Anna Arts Center Masters’ Theatre on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  

On Sunday, winners of three youth and one adult category will be announced and cash prizes will be awarded.  

Contest rules are available online at <a href=""></a>, by email at <a href=""></a> or by phone at 833-6525.

Lincoln Dinner

The annual Lincoln Legacy Dinner, sponsored by PAST, is scheduled to take place Friday, Feb. 10, at 6:30 p.m.  

Special guest speakers will follow the serving of a catered meal.  

Dr. Lynn Steveson will deliver a monologue she has written as Mary Todd Lincoln titled, “Ghosts Along The Way.”  

Recently named Illinois state history teacher of the year Darrel Dexter will present a recently discovered letter about the Lincoln-Douglas debates.

There will also be silent and live auctions and cameo performances from a Lincoln musical.  

Reservations can be made by calling the Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau at 833-9928 or 1-800-248-4373, or by sending an email to cindy <a href=""></a>  

The deadline for Lincoln Legacy dinner reservations is Monday, Feb. 6.

Saturday Events

Saturday events begin at 9:30 a.m.  Doors open to displays of history exhibits and music from the Civil War era.   

Also on display will be Kirkpatrick pottery, vintage guns and commemorative quilts.

At 10 a.m. Civil War historian and lecturer Glen Bishop will speak on “Southern Illinoisans in the Battle of Fort Donelson, Feb 12-16, 1862."

At 11 a.m., Dr. Susan Sitter Whitemountain will tell of her experiences “Finding the Three Civil War Camps Around Anna” and how she prepared a map of their locations.

From 11:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. there will be more story telling, music and a free “Biscuit Lunch” provided by the Anna Arts Center Council.

At 1 p.m., Darrel Dexter will tell "Why They Died: Remembering and Honoring the 429 from Union County Who Gave Their Lives in the Civil War."

The 2 p.m. visitor will be author Mike Estel of Anna, who will discuss his recent Civil War stories about people with roots in the area.   

At 3 p.m., Mike Jones, the curator and director of the General John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro will present a “documentary” of Civil War stories.  

Jones writes a “Civil War Timeline” in The Southern Illinoisan newspaper.  

At about 4 p.m., visitors will have time to look at the historical items on display and listen to more stories and Civil War era music.

A quartet from the Little Egypt Barbershop Chorus is scheduled to perform a medley of Civil War tunes.

Saturday at 6 p.m., there is to be a Campfire Stew Buffet.

Following the buffet, at 7 p.m., will be the premier showing of the musical, "Lincoln: The Life and Times."

The musical will be presented by local men, women and children under the direction of Brian Caraker  and accompanied by area musicians on instruments appropriate to the Civil War era.

The presentation tells the story of the life of Abraham Lincoln, with narration and stories set to music.  

Period costumes and special effects are expected to enhance the event in the Masters’ Theatre of the Anna Arts Center.  

The buffet and musical to follow are a combined ticketed event which will cost $15.  

If space allows, admission to the musical only, with no meal, will be available for $5. Contact Lee by phone at 833-6525 or by email at <a href=""></a> for reservations.

Sunday Schedule

Sunday afternoon, Feb. 12, at 1 p.m. exhibits will be open to visitors.

At 1:30 p.m., the prize winners of the Civil War exhibit contest will be announced and presented with their awards.

A 2 p.m., a matinee performance of the musical "Lincoln: The Life and Times" will be presented.Admission to the afternoon show is $5.

Proceeds from the Civil War Weekend will be shared by Shawnee Hills Art Council and PAST in support of their cultural arts and historic preservation efforts.

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