31st Illinois Volunteer Infantry Joe Kissel and Leonard Sadler (not pictured) will show and tell about the weapons used during the Civil War on Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Anna Arts Center. Photo provided.Dr. Edward F. Finch will portray Capt. Silas Wright Terry at the Civil War Weekend Blue and Gray Dinner, which is planned Friday evening, Feb. 25. Terry was an officer in the U.S Navy during the Civil War. Finch also is scheduled to speak Saturday morning, Feb. 26, at the Anna Arts Center. Photo provided.

Civil War Weekend planned in Anna, Jonesboro

Civil War history will come to life this weekend in Union County.

Civil War Weekend programs, presentations and exhibits are planned Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25-27, in Anna and Jonesboro.

Activities are scheduled at the Anna Arts Center and at the Heritage House Museum in Jonesboro. Many of the activities are free. All are open to the public.

The arts center is located at 125 W. Davie St. in Anna. Heritage House Museum is located at 102 S. Main St. in Jonesboro.

Here’s a look at the schedule of for the Civil War Weekend:

Blue and Gray Dinner

A Civil War Weekend Blue and Gray Dinner is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at the arts center.

Guest speaker is scheduled to be Dr. Edward F. Finch. Finch will portray Capt. Silas Wright Terry, who was an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. 

He will talk about his experiences on the Red River Campaign, as well as escorting President Lincoln in to Richmond at the end of the war.  

The Kitchen at Lafayette in Anna will cater the dinner. Tickets are $25. Those who would like to attend the dinner were asked to RSVP by no later than Tuesday, Feb. 22. 

Finch holds a doctorate in history education. For six years, he was executive director of the Stephenson County Museum in Freeport.

Before that, he taught English, speech, debate, U.S. history and American studies at Freeport High School for over 25 years. 

In 2010, the Naval Institute Press published his first book, a biography titled “Beneath the Waves: The Life and Navy of Capt. Edward L. Beach, Jr.” 

Since 2015 he has published five novels, including four in his Gabby Gordon Mystery Series.  

Anna Arts Center

Speakers and exhibits are planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at the Anna Arts Center. The events are free.

The schedule of speakers and topics includes:

9 a.m. Dr. Edward F. Finch, “The United States Navy in the Civil War.”

10:15 a.m. Brian “Fox” Ellis, Illinois Road Scholar, “Walt Whitman’s Lincoln.” 

Lincoln was a fan of Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” reading excerpts to clients in his Springfield law office; the one time he took the poetry home Mary Todd threatened to burn it. 

Whitman’s most famous poems, “Oh Captain, My Captain” and “When Lilacs Last Bloomed,” were written as eulogies for this martyred hero. 

After Lincoln’s assassination Whitman gave regular lectures on Lincoln to rave reviews. 

Fox recreates a program Whitman delivered on the Life of Lincoln woven with his Civil War poems, commentary on the war from the hospital tents and recollections of their misty morning encounter during the war.

11:30 a.m. Mike McNally, history instructor at Shawnee Community College, “Britain and the American Civil War.”  

McNally is originally from Liverpool, England, but has lived in Carbondale for almost three decades.  He has taught at the college level for the past 20 years. 

1 p.m. Dr. Nancy Kinsey Caldwell, musicologist, “A Soundtrack for Wartime: The Songs of the Civil War.” 

Caldwell shares recordings and live performance of a variety of Civil War songs, along with the stories behind their composition and reception by American listeners during and after the war.

2:15 p.m. Ed and Diane Annable, winners of the 2018 Delta Award for Southern Illinois Historians and Authors, will discuss a historical narrative of the soldiers from Johnson County.

The Annables will tell stories of the battles they fought, the “March to the Sea” with Gen. Sherman and the march in the Grand Review in Washington, D.C.  

The Annables’ book “Some Come Marching Home Again: Johnson County Illinois Went to War 1861-1865,” tells the story of 1,600 men who went to war.

Heritage House Museum

PAST of Union County plans to host an open house at the Heritage House Museum from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

Local historian and author Darrel Dexter is scheduled to give a presentation at 2 p.m. Quilts from the Civil War era will be on display during the open house.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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