Visitors can learn about medicine and funeral
customs during the Civil War, the critical work of volunteer groups,
the military contributions of Gen. George Meade and the
indispensable items that soldiers relied upon every day.
The first “Civil War Saturday” takes places Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. Jon
Austin will portray a doctor giving a 19th-century medical lecture,
complete with a “corpse.”
He will address period medicine and chemistry, how soldiers’ remains
were shipped home, Abraham Lincoln’s funeral and more.
On Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., volunteers with the Springfield
Ladies Soldiers' Aid Society will present living history
demonstrations of the critical work accomplished by women during the
Civil War, such as sending food and medical supplies to wounded
Then, on Nov. 19, living history reenactor Dave Eisle of Rockford
will appear at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. as George Meade, who led Union
forces to a critical victory at the Battle of Gettysburg over the
South's best commander, Robert E. Lee. What is most amazing is that
Meade took command of the Union Army just a few days before the
Finally, on Nov. 26, reenactor Troy Gilmore will portray a Union
soldier at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This “Meet a Boy in Blue” presentation
will focus on the many items soldiers carried into service as well
as the challenges and opportunities related to items that were
generally issued to soldiers during the Civil War.
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The Old State Capitol was the seat of Illinois government from 1839 to 1876.
Abraham Lincoln served as a legislator there, launched his 1858 Senate campaign
there with his famous “House Divided” speech, and used it as his unofficial
campaign headquarters and presidential transition office.
It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. Admission is free, but a donation
of $5 per person is suggested.
The site is operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. IHPA protects
the state’s historic resources, which contribute to education, culture and the
economy. Its sites include ancient burial mounds, forts and buildings erected by
settlers, and homes connected to famous Illinoisans.
Illinois Historic Preservation Agency]