Saturday, July 12, 2014
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Civil War Days at David Davis Mansion
Historic site marks 150th anniversary of war with mock battles, visiting generals July 19-20

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[July 12, 2014]  BLOOMINGTON - The roar of cannons, the sight of marching soldiers and visits from famous figures of the past will give visitors a taste of Civil War times on July 19 and 20 at the David Davis Mansion State Historic Site.

The free event is part of the state’s commemoration of the war’s 150th anniversary.

Saturday, July 19, brings a chance to hear from some of the Civil War’s most prominent generals, including Ulysses S. Grant, George Custer and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Abraham and Mary Lincoln will also appear at several programs, including “Lincoln and the Children.”

The Soldiers Aid Society will be represented and a full field surgical unit will demonstrate Civil War surgical techniques. The afternoon will feature parade drilling and a skirmish with cannon fire before concluding with carriage rides and a military ball. The ball will include the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band, Civil War dancers and Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln.

Other activities include a military encampment, rope making, root beer making, and vendors offering Civil-War-era goods for sale. There will be a special display of military weapons, Civil-War-era miniatures and vintage clothing. Children and families will be invited to help the Soldiers Aid Society pack boxes for Union troops.

Visitors can also help modern troops by making embroidered flags. The flags include a small pocket on the back, and families will be encouraged to write messages of support to tuck into the pocket. The flags will be included in boxes for McLean County troops serving overseas and will be mailed by the VFW.

Picnic-style foods will be for sale, and mansion tours will be offered.

Activities on Sunday, July 20, run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day starts with a church service that includes music by the 33rd Illinois Volunteer Regiment Band. The generals and the surgical unit will also make presentations, the Lincolns will visit, and there will be another skirmish with cannon firing.

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For more information and a schedule of events, visit

Civil War Days is presented in conjunction with "Lincoln’s Festival in Bloomington," a citywide celebration of Lincoln in Bloomington. Activities are also scheduled at Franklin Park, Illinois Wesleyan University, downtown Bloomington, the McLean County Museum of History, the Burr House and the Bloomington Public Library. For information on other activities related to Lincoln’s Festival, see the lineup on or 

The David Davis Mansion State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, was built for Judge David Davis and his wife, Sarah. Davis had been appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by his grateful friend, Abraham Lincoln, and had this lavish Victorian mansion built in 1872.

The mansion, located at 1000 Monroe Drive in Bloomington, is open Wednesday through Sunday for free public tours.



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