Breaking News Bar
posted: 7/8/2012 6:42 PM

More than 5,000 watch Civil War re-enactment in Lake County

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Confederate soldiers stage a counterattack against a Union flanking maneuver during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

       Confederate soldiers stage a counterattack against a Union flanking maneuver during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Union soldiers advance on a Confederate dispatch during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. The hour-long battle featured booming canon fire and extensive military maneuvering across the fields of the preserve.

       Union soldiers advance on a Confederate dispatch during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. The hour-long battle featured booming canon fire and extensive military maneuvering across the fields of the preserve.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • An Abraham Lincoln impersonator delivers a speech to the crowd during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Lincoln, as well Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee made appearances and interacted with crowd members.

       An Abraham Lincoln impersonator delivers a speech to the crowd during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Lincoln, as well Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee made appearances and interacted with crowd members.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Christian Gossin/cgossin@dailyherald.comUnion soldiers advance on a Confederate dispatch during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. The hour-long battle featured booming canon fire and extensive military maneuvering across the fields of the preserve.

      Christian Gossin/cgossin@dailyherald.comUnion soldiers advance on a Confederate dispatch during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. The hour-long battle featured booming canon fire and extensive military maneuvering across the fields of the preserve.

  • Disbanded Confederate soldiers stage a final rally against a Union flanking maneuver during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

       Disbanded Confederate soldiers stage a final rally against a Union flanking maneuver during Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Abraham Lincoln smiles at the crowd as he makes his way to the battle re-enactment at the Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

       Abraham Lincoln smiles at the crowd as he makes his way to the battle re-enactment at the Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • General Robert E. Lee waits in his camp before the battle re-enactment at Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Visitors could interact with many Civil War era figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ulysses S. Grant and Lee.

       General Robert E. Lee waits in his camp before the battle re-enactment at Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Visitors could interact with many Civil War era figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Ulysses S. Grant and Lee.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Joshua Hernandez, 8, from San Diego, Calif. gets General Ulysses S. Grant's autograph Sunday at Civil War Days in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Kids could interact with many Civil War era figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Grant.

       Joshua Hernandez, 8, from San Diego, Calif. gets General Ulysses S. Grant's autograph Sunday at Civil War Days in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Kids could interact with many Civil War era figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Grant.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • A Civil War era blacksmith works on a nail at Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Visitors interacted with volunteers that explained the histories behind trades such as blacksmithing, sewing and medicine.

       A Civil War era blacksmith works on a nail at Civil War Days Sunday in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. Visitors interacted with volunteers that explained the histories behind trades such as blacksmithing, sewing and medicine.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

  • Union troops advance on the Confederates during a battle re-enactment as spectators observe Sunday during Civil War Days in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.

       Union troops advance on the Confederates during a battle re-enactment as spectators observe Sunday during Civil War Days in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda.
    Christian Gossin | Staff Photographer

 

In February 1862, Civil War troops fought the Battle of Fort Donelson -- a battle that opened Tennessee's Cumberland River to attacks from the North and cost the lives of 1,000 troops.

On Saturday and Sunday, in weather considerably warmer than it was for the original contest, the battle was fought again at the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda as part of the 21st annual Civil War Days, presented by the Lake County Forest Preserve District and the Lake County Discovery Museum.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Spectators, many dressed in Civil War costumes, watched a ferocious battle, as black powder smoke rose from rifles and cannons, and soldiers on horseback wielded swords.

Visitors also had a chance to visit such real historical figures as Gen. George Armstrong Custer, as well as visit tents with demonstrations of Civil War-era weapons and medical practices.

Seleena Kuester, museum educator, said between 5,000 and 6,000 people came to watch more than 500 re-enactors, with Saturday's figures dampened a bit by the hot weather.

This year's event was unprecedented in at least one aspect of its realism, with the digging of trenches, Kuester said.

"Our forest preserve operations crew dug the trenches with our heavy equipment, but then the re-enactors came out and dressed them with split rails, making them look a little more realistic," she said. "This helps, I think, to bring a little bit more attention to a historical topic that is of great importance to our area. We had a lot of men from Lake County who served in the Civil War."

Among the re-enactors was Richard Smanski, 27, of Hanover Park. He enacted the role of a Confederate staff officer, Lt. Claiborn Hall.

He said he began re-enacting in high school with a Boy Scout crew, eventually earning a master's in history with a focus on the Civil War period.

"The thing that really defines this war for me is the fact that what took place here -- and the decisions that were made here, both at the societal level and the national level, are really what created America as we know it," he said.

For Volo resident Lesley Wall and her family, the event was a chance to experience history in person rather than on a printed page.

"I think being able to watch this, as opposed to reading about it, is so much more interesting to the kids. They get to see it up close and personal," she said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.