“Iron Ore and the Civil War,” an annual Civil War encampment at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township, returns to the museum the weekend of August 4-5.
Museum visitors will be treated to the sights and sounds of the Civil War during the two-day event, which features living history re-enactors and artillery demonstrations, along with period music, children’s games and food.
“This is a family-fun event for people to experience everyday life of the Civil War, and to learn about Michigan’s role during the conflict,” said museum historian Troy Henderson. “Museum guests will be able to enter the campsite and interact with the costumed interpreters to learn about soldiers pastimes during the mid-1800s.”
Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery from downstate Jackson, will re-create Civil War army life with artillery and small-arms drills, camp cooking and soldiers’ pastimes. Battery D will be joined by the museum’s costumed student auxiliary – The Future Historians – who will play table games, croquet, snap-apple, Blind Man’s Bluff and walk on stilts.
The First Michigan Infantry assembled for federal service in 1861, just two weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter and the start of the “War Between the States.” At least 90,000 Michiganders enlisted, and more than 14,000 were killed during the war.
The state’s wartime contribution of not only manpower, but also iron ore resources, was instrumental in helping to preserve the Union – a fact President Abraham Lincoln is said to have recognized by stating, “Thank God for Michigan.”
The 90-minute documentary “Michigan in the Civil War” will be shown twice daily, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., in the museum auditorium. The film includes segments on Michigan’s contribution to events such as the Underground Railroad, Fort Wayne, Michigan Women in the War, Gettysburg, the capture of Jefferson Davis, and many more.
The museum entrance is located on US-41E, one mile west of Junction M-35, in Negaunee Township. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged.
The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is one of 11 nationally accredited museums administered by the Michigan Historical Center, an agency within the Department of Natural Resources. It overlooks the site of the Carp River Forge, a pioneer industrial site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call (906) 475-7857 or visit online at www.michigan.gov/ironindustrymuseum.