A Civil War History Day is being planned for Aug. 10 at the LaGrange County Courthouse, which will include an encampment of reenactors along with special historical displays and performances.
The Civil War History Day will feature a living history encampment by the 44th Indiana Historical Organization. This group of Civil War reenactors travel throughout the United States, volunteering their time to bring history to life. They portray the 44th Indiana Regiment, Co. H (The Iron Brigade). The original Co. H was comprised of men from LaGrange County.
They also work to bring the civilian side of the Civil War to life with displays and information on the families of the soldiers and how they lived and coped with the war.
The event is seeking demonstrators and vendors of 19th Century wares that will set up on the courthouse lawn during the event. Artisans are encouraged to contact committee members Dave and Bev Nelson at 260-499-0293 or prairieclassics@ hotmail.com.
The LaGrange County Historical Society will be open to the public during the event, and will have a must see exhibit of Civil War artifacts and memorabilia collected by the late Robert Yoder. Yoder worked for years to compile a two-volume set, LaGrange County in the War of the Rebellion. Yoder also participated as a reenactor with the 44th Indiana Regiment.
Additional historical collections will be on display in the community room at the LaGrange County Library. Displays will include antique toys and daguerreotype photographs.
The LaGrange Community Band will perform at the courthouse gazebo in the afternoon, under the direction of Hank Gore. Plans for additional presentations at the gazebo are still being developed.
Authors Margaret Hobson and Cheri Mattox will be on hand for the event. Hobson released Vol. I of The Iron Men of Indiana’s 44th Regiment in 2012. She will be manning an enlistment tent where attendees can experience firsthand what it was like to sign up to fight for the Union. Also released in 2012 was Mattox’s book, The Men of the 100th Indiana Infantry, Co. C, “Persimmon Regiment.”
The Civil War History Day is being held the same weekend as the annual steam and gas show, which organizers hope will provide those visiting for that show to participate and enjoy the activities at the courthouse. The summer weekend farmers market will also be held as scheduled that day, with both events appropriate compliments to an event focusing on a time in history when America was principally an agricultural society, organizers noted.
The LaGrange County Heritage Initiative was formed in February of this year to work to preserve history through a variety of programs and projects, such as the Civil War History Day, to educate, protect and promote the rich history of LaGrange County. The initiative hopes to work with other groups, such as the county’s historical society or Focus LaGrange, to pool resources toward community goals. They are also actively seeking grants to assist in financing projects and programs.
The group is looking to expand Civil War History Day in the future, bringing more historic reenactments, including artillery displays and other large scale demonstrations.