Annual Civil War Weekend Sept. 17-18

Marengo to host sixth annual event featuring military drills, a court martial, ladies’ tea, and era medical demonstrations

The Sixth Annual Civil War Weekend in Marengo Sept. 17-18 offers fun and informative camps and activities for people of all ages.

“This is not only a fun event, but is truly an educational experience as well,” John S. Keating, community relations chairman, said. “You’ll be surprised at just how much they never taught you in school.”

Some of the events include military drills, a court martial, ladies’ tea, a fashion show, and era medical demonstrations, among other activities.

“Sutlers’ row is always fun for everyone, including re-enactors,” Keating said. “Here you will find quality reproductions of period clothing, leather goods, souvenirs, toys and actual Civil War relics.”

This year’s event will be hosted by the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry, the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery Battery G, friends of the Civil War, the Army of the Cumberland and Camp Douglas.

The featured participant is the 2nd Illinois Light Artillery Battery G. This unit is headquartered in Stillman Valley, and is the nation’s premier Civil War artillery battery.

The unit can be seen in movies such as Gettysburg, Andersonville, Dog Jack, an upcoming movie they have almost finished shooting and others.

Civil War Weekend will also premier portrayals of President Abraham Lincoln and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by Max and Donna Danniels of Wheaton, Ill. Guests will also get a chance to meet General U.S. Grant, Sen. Stephen Douglas and a host of other Civil War characters.

“The public is always welcome to approach all re-enactors, including President Lincoln, with any questions they might have,” Keating said.

Although the camps, activities and demonstrations are fun, the most exciting part of the weekend is the replicated battles put on by the re-enactors. Guests can watch the battlefield come to life on both days.

“Field pyrotechnics (explosions) may be limited this year due to drought conditions,” Keating said. “But we will … blow up the cabin both days.”

The weekend events are sponsored by the Marengo Park District, the city of Marengo and co-sponsored by a host of businesses from McHenry and Boone counties.

Camps open at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, with the battles beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the battle is $6/adults and $4/children younger than 12. Camps and activities are free.

The Sixth Annual Civil War Weekend is held in Indian Oak Park, just off Route 20, in Marengo.

From the Sept. 14-20, 2005, issue

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