Civil War

Don’t Miss the Salute to Freedom on June 13

Civil War MuseumOne hundred fifty years ago, the citizens of Milwaukee were busily preparing for the Soldiers’ Home Fair scheduled to open June 28. Hattie’s mother was one of the women responsible for this statewide effort to raise funds to build a permanent home for Wisconsin veterans. Along with thousands of other children, Hattie and her brother did their part to support the cause.

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, the Kenosha Civil War Museum is sponsoring a Soldiers’ Aid Fair as part of the annual Salute to Freedom. Members of the modern West Side Soldiers Aid Society will recreate booths from the 1865 fair, including the Delphic Oracle, Jacob’s Well, the Wool Department, the Holland Kitchen, and Old Abe. Emily and I will present a brief program on Hattie’s War at 1:00, and our friends on the Milwaukee Cream Citys will play an exhibition match of vintage base ball at 2:00. After the game, fans can take batting and field practice with the team!

Visitors can do their part to support our troops by bringing donations for the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative: bicycle locks and helmets, cleaning supplies, bath towels, facial tissues, paper towels, dryer sheets, Q-tips, bath mats, throw rugs, laundry baskets, coffee makers, toasters, crockpots, vacuum cleaners, irons / ironing boards, mops, brooms, Sterilite or Rubbermaid 26 gallon (105 quart) storage bins.

This FREE family celebration features events all day–don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience our history and heritage.

Outdoor Activities
• Music by the Regimental Volunteer Band playing original period instruments
• Artillery demonstrations by Cushing’s Battery
• Bugle demonstrations
• Union Infantry demonstrations
• “Fill the Wagon” donation drive to benefit Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative (See list above)
• Noon Welcome Home Celebration for the troops with marching, music, and patriotic speeches
• Civilian camp with Historical Timekeepers
• 2 p.m.: Baseball Exhibition match between the Milwaukee Cream City Baseball Club and the Chicago Salmon

Indoor Activities
• 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Soldier’s Aid Fair, games, crafts, pie sale, and storytelling
• 11 a.m.: Eagle & Friends program presented by the Schlitz Audubon Society
• 1 p.m.: Hattie’s War program and book signing with authors Hilda and Emily Demuth
• 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Community picnic and games
• 4 p.m.: Kenosha Pops performing a patriotic concert

Categories: Civil War | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

In Memory of Charlie

At  Charlie Moores' grave, Memorial Day 2014

At Charlie Moores’ grave, Memorial Day 2014

In Hattie’s War, Charlie Moores plays base ball with Hattie and the other neighbor children in the backyard–until he enlists as a drummer with the 39th Wisconsin Regiment, heading to Memphis for the summer.

President Lincoln really did put out a call for 100-day regiments, with the thought that the war could be won in that time with a surge in troop numbers. Several such regiments departed from Milwaukee in June of 1864–and a drummer named Charlie Moores was among them.

Those of you who have read Hattie’s War are aware of Charlie’s fate. His true story is just as tragic. Charlie never made it home from Memphis–he died of fever while serving with the Colonel Buttrick’s 39th Wisconsin Regiment that summer.

Last Memorial Day, I took part in a wreath-laying ceremony with the West Side Soldiers’ Aid Society at Forest Home Cemetery. I carried the wreath for Charlie Moores, who is buried there. As the May breeze blew through the towering oaks, I thought of Charlie–a boy who died too young, who left no direct descendants to remember him. What might he have really been like? Did he play base ball? What was his favorite subject in school? What did he like to eat? What did he plan to do when he grew up? What made his heart sing?  I felt both humbled, and heartbroken, to carry his memory.

There are thousands of young soldiers like Charlie. They lie forgotten in cemeteries across the country and over the seas. On Memorial Day, it behooves us to remember them–not as white gravestones, but as people–people who laughed and cried, went to school, learned a trade, played sports, sang and danced, and kissed their mothers or sweethearts good-bye.

Even more important, let us honor these fallen soldiers by working for peace and understanding among people, cultures, and countries different than our own, so that the cycle of fighting and violence may end.

Categories: Civil War, Hattie's War, West Side Soldiers' Aid Society | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From Jubilation to Mourning

In Hattie’s War, Hattie and her family celebrate the war’s end with the rest of Milwaukee. Little did she know how quickly the joy would pass. The city was still decked out in red, white, and blue when the news came from Washington–President Lincoln had been shot and killed. Those who can remember President Kennedy’s assassination, or the days after 9/11, can imagine the grief and horror experienced by the people of Milwaukee when the news reached them on Saturday.

The Milwaukee Daily News for Sunday, April 16, 1865 headline read “The City of Milwaukee in Mourning.”
The appearance of our streets yesterday presented a sad and striking contrast with that of last Monday. Upon the receipt of the news of the fearful crime at the National Capital, the people were stricken with a paralyzing grief and horror. Men gathered together in little groups at the corners of  streets, and many wept while listening to the recital of, or perusing the dispatches. Never has such a deep gloom settled upon the people. So sudden and unexpected was the whole affair, that it seemed like a frightful dream, and people seemed to be in a [d]aze — loth to believe the report till the signature of Secretary Stanton confirmed it beyond doubt. The mayor, Abner Kirby, promptly issued a proclamation requesting the suspension of business, and that all buildings be clothed in mourning. The request was at once complied with. Flags upon buildings and vessels were placed at half-mast, and the solemn black and white drapery was hung out from very many buildings, reminding one and all of the sorrowful calamity. The whole of East Water Street was clothed in mourning — far different from the colors which were exhibited on Monday last. All business was suspended. There was no bustle, no activity. Men and women walked in silence, many bearing some emblem of mourning. No one but expressed sorrow and regret, and denounced the murderers. Less than one week ago it was our lot to chronicle one of the most jubilant celebrations Milwaukee ever witnessed, today one of the greatest reasons of mourning. May we in future be spared the latter trial.

In my last post, I mentioned that Colonel Buttrick had been put in charge of the celebration parade for the city. Here’s the rest of the story.

The Death of the President— The Funeral Ceremonies In Milwaukee
“The celebration of the nation’s victories, fixed for the 20th, is abandoned, and in its stead the people are called upon to pay tribute of respect to the memory of our chief magistrate, whose tragic death has filled us with horror, and whose loss to the nation has bound us together with the bonds of a common sorrow. The funeral ceremonies, consisting of a procession and orations, will take place on the day of the funeral of President Lincoln to be announced hereafter. Meanwhile, all associations, societies and organizations in the city are requested to report as soon as practicable, to the undersigned that they may be assigned a place in the procession. We have called upon those who have been and still are in the service, to rejoice with us. We ask them now to unite with us in our public manifestation of respect to the memory of one whom a nation honors and whom history will make immortal. Details will be published hereafter.
By direction of the committee,
E. L. BUTTRICK,
Chief Marshal”

Categories: Civil War, Hattie's War | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.