This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. With the anniversary comes a renewed interest and some events that are annual events as well as some new events as well. These events and reenactments offer us all a chance to get a peak at what life was like for civilians and soldiers 150 years ago. It's a great chance for your kids to see history come to life. We've taken our kids to Civil War reenactments and events in the past and it has always fascinated and captivated them.
Plowshares into Swords April 12, 2011 - February 5, 2012 Special exhibit at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing explores how the Civil War changed Michigan resident's lives.
Niles - Brandywine Civil War Reenactment May 14-15th They are reenacting the Battle of Shiloh this year.
Civil War Reenactment at Walker Tavern May 14-15 Watch battle reenactments, artillery and infantry demonstrations, and hands-on activities.
Civil War Days in Branch County This Memorial Day Weekend event in Coldwater is another great Civil War history experience. The local steam-powered locomotive, Little River Railroad, provides a ride for Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln. There are vintage baseball games, an 1860's wedding, a reenactment of the Battle of Vicksburg, and much more.
Iron Ore and the Civil War August 6-7th at Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee "The Civil War and the role Michigan's iron resources played in preserving the Union will come to life when the museum hosts a weekend Civil War artillery encampment. This encampment features military and civilian camp life, cannon demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and costumed portrayals of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln."
Civil War Era Artillery Encampment August 12-13 at Fort Wilkins in Copper Harbor. "Battery D, First Michigan Light Artillery, recreates army life of the period with artillery and small arms drills, cooking, soldiers' pastimes and much more! The encampment features more than 25 costumed interpreters, tents and full-scale artillery pieces, as well as authentically reproduced mess gear, small arms and other period artifacts."
Jackson, Michigan Cascades Civil War Muster August 26-28th This is the largest Civil War reenactment event in Michigan. This year they are reenacting the Battle of Bethel Church, Virginia.
Michigan 16th Infantry Civil War Reenactors at Mackinac Island September 10-11 at Fort Mackinac. "A little-known page in Fort Mackinac’s history will be revealed when a group of 16th Michigan Company reenactors depicting the Stanton Guard and the 3rd U.S. Infantry are hosted at Fort Mackinac."
Holland Civil War Muster SEPTEMBER 17 & 18, 2011, at the historic Van Raalte Farm in Holland, MI. "This year’s all-new FREE event features the 1st Battle of Bull Run (known in the South as 1st Manassas) with two days worth of music, impressions of historical figures, performances, medical scenarios, period-style vendors, and (of course) battle."
Don't forget to check out SeekingMichigan.org for an in-depth list of statewide events related to the Civil War.