The Indiana Insider Blog

Conner Prairie Expecting 1,000 Re-Enactors to Participate in Civil War Days

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is about to throw the switch on the Wayback Machine and travel back to the 1860s and the American Civil War.civil-war-065

On May 16 and 17, 2009, 1,000 Civil War re-enactors from throughout the United States will descend on Conner Prairie, bringing the Civil War experience to life for guests, who will be able to speak with President Abraham Lincoln, march in either the Union or Rebel infantry, talk battle tactics, sit around campfires, and watch a battle complete with cannons, horses, and guns.

Conner Prairie’s historic areas will be transformed into Union and Confederate camps. The soldiers will do battle on the field, and hide out in the woods. Visitors can watch a game of historic baseball (the ball is heavier, and they don’t play with mitts), try Civil War-era food, and even buy authentic Civil War uniforms, re-enacting supplies, and period-related clothing, books and toys.

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The weekend’s events will wrap up Sunday afternoon at 4:00 for an evening with President Lincoln, ably portrayed by Richard Fritz Klein, an acclaimed Lincoln actor.

Civil War Day activities are free with Conner Prairie general admission. General admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors 65+, $8 for youth (ages two -12) and free for members and youth under two. The adult lecture series is free for members and an additional $10 for non-members.dsc_0248

Civil War Days Schedule

Saturday, May 16

10 a.m. Artillery Drill—watch as the members of the artillery units demonstrate the steps that are required to load and fire a cannon.
11 a.m. Meet Abraham Lincoln—Fritz Klein presents the program “Portrait of a President” where he will discuss Lincoln’s life, presidency and the Civil War, and take questions from guests; and
Infantry Drill—guests will be able to observe the infantries of both armies as they perform their daily drill exercises.
11:30 a.m. Cavalry Demonstration/Drill—members of both cavalries will demonstrate the tactics and techniques that made the cavalry a unique and highly effective part of the Civil War era military.
12:30 p.m. Historic Base Ball Game—cheer on Conner Prairie’s historic baseball team.
1 p.m. Meet the Infantry—guests will talk with Civil War re-enactors out of character and ask questions not only about history, but also about re-enacting;
Ladies tea—learn about the origins of the “Victorian Tea” and see how a formal party was held during the Civil War era; and
Saxton’s Cornet Band—Saxton’s is one of the finest historic brass bands in the nation.
2 p.m. Battle
3 p.m. Meet Abraham Lincoln
4 p.m. Meet the Cavalry; and
Saxton’s Cavalry Band

Sunday, May 17

11 a.m. Artillery Drill
12 p.m. Infantry Drill
12:30 p.m. Cavalry Demonstration/Drill;
Historic Base Ball Game
1 p.m. Ladies Tea; Saxton’s Cornet Band
2 p.m. Battle
3 p.m. Meet Abraham Lincoln
4 p.m. Meet the Infantry

*Recruiting and Drilling: Throughout the day, guests can enlist in the army to preserve the Union. Once enlisted, the recruiter will teach them the basics of marching and drilling with a riffle.

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Written by : is a professional blogger and social media consultant. He is also a humor columnist in several weekly papers around Indiana, and on his own blog at ErikDeckers.com. A supporter of the local arts scene, Erik is a rabid fan of the Indy Fringe Theatre Festival in the summer. Erik is married and a father of three, and a Ball State alum. Erik receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development — and a warm fuzzy feeling — for blogging. For more information, see our FTC Disclosure page.