A Monumentally Historic Weekend in Waukesha
A series of anniversaries underlie Civil War Honor Day.
Civil War Honor Day will take place from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept.10, at the Waukesha County Museum and Cutler Park.
It is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year as well as the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Civil War Monument in Cutler Park. Sunday will also be the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
The Waukesha Park, Recreation and Forestry Department started the commemorative event, as well as Debbie and Alan Keinert who brought up the impending anniversary to Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings.
Kristen Hoeker, director of education and programming at the Waukesha County Museum, said they decided to make a whole day out of the anniversary. There will be something for all ages at the free event.
There will be “activities that discuss the everyday soldier life ... and highlight what women and children back at home were doing. They weren’t just sitting around doing nothing,” said Hoeker.
There will be a special presentation at 11 a.m by a member of the West Side Soldiers Aid Society from Hales Corners. The presentation, The Civil War Home Front: Early Days of Soliders Relief Efforts in Wisconsin, will talk about groups that formed after the war.
In their exhibit area at the museum, there will be a Civil War reenactor as well as fragile objects that cannot be constantly on display, such as the ribbon from the original dedication of the monument.
In the family area, kids can set up their own tent, try on uniforms and dresses from the time, carry a bag that would have been carried in the war with accurate items inside, and try hardtack.
“We have hardtack tasting, the food that a lot of the soldiers unfortunately had to eat. Ours will be without maggots so don’t worry about that,” said Hoeker.
There will also be crafts for the kids to make, including their own drum. They will be able to give signals, like Charles Gaspar, a 14-year-old from Waukesha, did during the war. His drum is on display at the museum. There were about 1,000 people from Waukesha County in the Civil War.
At 2 p.m. will be the rededication of the monument where reenactors will give the same speech that was given in 1911. There will also be a band playing some of the patriotic songs of the time.
“I thought it was very important. It should be recognized. The hundredth anniversary of any monument, organization or anniversary is a point to remember,” Cummings said, who will also be there.
Update: Also as part of the event, a rededication ceremony of the monument honoring Waukesha’s Civil War soldiers will be held at Prairie Home Cemetery at 9:30 a.m. The monument was placed in recognition of the civil war soldiers who died and whose bodies couldn’t be shipped home for burial, Cummings said.