President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant paid a visit to Union County during last Saturday’s Civil War Weekend activities at the Anna Arts Center in Anna. President Lincoln was portrayed by George Buss. Grant was brought to life by Dan Haughey of East Moline.

President Lincoln, Gen. Grant visit for Civil War Weekend

The Civil War came to life last Saturday in Union County.

The Shawnee Hills Arts Council hosted a Civil War Weekend at the Anna Arts Center in Anna.

The event featured a full day of special presentations, activities and displays.

One of the presentations was a performance titled “Mr. U.S. Grant: A Man and a Patriot.” 

The performance was presented on stage by Dan Haughey of East Moline. Haughey is a Black Hawk College speech-theatre professor emeritus.

Haughey’s appearance was cosponsored by the Anna Arts Center and the Illinois Humanities Road Scholars program. 

“Mr. Grant” focused on Ulysses S. Grant’s early life, his time as a citizen in Illinois and his rise to fame as a Union Army general during the Civil War.

An audience estimated at about 40 to 50 people were on hand to be a part of Haughey’s presentation.

The performance opened with Haughey, as Grant, walking onto the stage, sat down and began reading a letter.

During the next hour or so, the audience heard about Grant’s life as a soldier and civilian.

Haughey recalled Grant’s “forsaken” assignment to California during service to his country in the military, memories of the Mexican War and reflections on the Civil War. Grant’s deep affection for his wife, Julia, also came to life on the stage at the arts center.

As he neared the end of his presentation, Haughey offered Grant’s observations about the Civil War.

“The South won’t be discouraged,” he said. “The South must be conquered...the North must win at all costs.”

After bringing Grant to life on stage, Haughey took time for questions from the audience. He also reflected on Grant’s legacy.

In addition to his important role in leading the Union to victory during the Civil War, Grant also went on to serve as the 18th  president of the United States. 

Haughey suggested that Grant’s ultimate success reflected “just a remarkable life from a small backwoods boy.”

He encouraged those in the audience to read Grant’s memoirs – a project in which Mark Twain played a key role. He also recommended reading Julia Grant’s memoirs.

Haughey noted that he was glad to have been a part of the Civil War Weekend activities at the Anna Arts Center.

Several of those in the audience at Saturday’s presentation commended Haughey for his presentation.

“You were Grant,” one person said. 

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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