For the 23rd consecutive year, rifle shots and cannon fire will be part of a two-day commemoration of the Civil War staged by the Lake County Forest Preserve District near Wauconda.
Visitors of all ages are invited Saturday and Sunday, July 12 and 13, to explore the military and civilian camps to learn about life in the 1860s at Lakewood Forest Preserve. The Civil War actors dress in period garb.
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Civil War Days is the largest Civil War re-enactment in northern Illinois. This annual event draws more than 600 re-enactors from seven states and 6,000 visitors from Illinois and surrounding areas, organizers said.
Children's activities will include special period crafts and games, along with a scavenger hunt around the site. In addition, there will be a recreation of the 1863 Agricultural Fair, which features public amusements and horticultural and domestic arts exhibitions.
While exploring the grounds, visitors can also meet historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and generals Lee, Jackson, Custer, Grant and Sherman.
A large Civil War-era shopping area, period music, and food vendors round out the event.
The event culminates each day with a narrated battle re-enactment. These hourlong battles feature artillery, cavalry and infantry re-enactors. This year's event will highlight two specific battles from the Atlanta Campaign: The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain and the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, and will feature a re-enactment of the use of trenches during battle.
Civil War Days will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with the battles beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday's hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the North and South fighting at 1:30 p.m.
One-day general admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 4-17 and seniors 62 and older, and free for kids ages 3 and younger.
General admission for two days is $15 adults, $7 for ages 4 to 17 and 62 and older, and free for ages 3 and younger. No dogs are allowed on either day, with the exception of service animals.
For directions to Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda, detailed schedule, printable coupon and more, visit lcfpd.org/CivilWar.
Illinois had the second-highest number of Civil War casualties of any state in the nation.