Wednesday, January 05, 2011
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Civil War the topic of Jan. 28 event in Elkhart

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[January 05, 2011]  ELKHART -- The first dinner and lecture in a series hosted by the Elkhart Historical Society will be on Jan. 28 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at The Wild Hare Café, 104 Gov. Oglesby St. in historic downtown Elkhart. A string band will entertain with Civil War-era music during dinner. After the meal, author Bill Donath will give a presentation on "Logan County During the Civil War."

InsuranceDonath, a Logan County native, is the author of two books on the Civil War. His first book, "Logan County During the Civil War: The Early Years," is a collection of articles that explain the effects the Civil War had on daily life in the county. His second book, "Logan County, Illinois' Civil War Dead, Monument Dedication and History," contains information on the 438 Logan County men who died during the Civil War. The book includes the 322 soldiers listed on the Logan County Courthouse monument and 116 more names found during Donath's research. Articles from the 1867 Lincoln Herald regarding the plans for the Civil War monument and Gen. Richard J. Oglesby's oration at its dedication are featured in the book.

Donath is president of the Logan County Genealogical & Historical Society, a member of the Logan County Civil War statue and Logan County Cemetery Maintenance District committees, and a past member of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County.


In the group that will present Civil War-era music during the meal prior to Donath's presentation, Steve Staley, Mark Matthewson, Erich Schroeder and Maureen Douglas play fiddle, banjo, guitar and a variety of other instruments All of the band members have played in the Springfield area for many years. Several of them have performed at New Salem's Traditional Music Festival, New Salem events, Postville Courthouse, Springfield's First Night and other local events. Last summer, Matthewson and others were a part of the New Salem Theater season, with a program of original and traditional music relating to the Lincoln era.

Sgt. Major Alan R. Kilgore, 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry, and his wife, Carol, will attend the dinner and lecture in full Civil War costume. The 10th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry was formed to provide enjoyable opportunities for individuals and families to experience, learn and in return, teach others about all aspects of life in the mid-19th century. The primary purpose of the 10th Illinois Cavalry is to educate the public through re-enactments and living histories about the life of the common soldier during the American Civil War. Members of the organization do this by authentically portraying the uniform, clothing and equipment common soldiers wore in the 1860s.

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The Elkhart Historical Society will offer its 2011 calendar for purchase following the dinner and lecture. The calendar commemorates the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War. Titled "Elkhart and the Civil War," the calendar is an outstanding collection of photographs, history and details about Elkhart's involvement in the war, including the names of Elkhart soldiers and their fates.

Reservations for the evening must be received by Jan. 24. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the lecture from 7 to 8 p.m. The cost of the dinner is $24 per person and includes tax, tip, gratuity and a complimentary glass of wine. More information and the reservation form are available at or by telephoning 217-947-2046.

[Text from file received from Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau of Logan County]

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