Local historian and re-enactor Ed O'Brien presents The American Civil War Soldier. Learn what life was like for the average Civil War soldier – from training, to camp life, to the battlefield. Although no battles were fought in Illinois, McHenry County more than 2,500 men into the Union ranks – most of them serving with 15th, 95th and 36th infantry regiments, as well as the 8th Illinois Cavalry Regiment. Also learn how McHenry County supported the northern home front, and what life was like for soldiers returning home after the war.
The program ties in with “A Call to Arms” – a new exhibit, unveiled last year but largely unseen by the public because of the pandemic. McHenry County had close to 20,000 inhabitants within its boundaries when Fort Sumter was fired upon April 12, 1861. This act signaled the start of the Civil War. McHenry County’s citizens responded to President Abraham Lincoln’s call for volunteers by sending a total of 2,533 men to the Union Army. The charge, payable at the door, is $5 for Society members, $8 for nonmembers. It Includes admission to the museum.
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