CHANNAHON – This is the 18th year for the Dollinger Family Farm’s Civil War Days, and the family has even more in store for visitors this weekend.
The event has grown quite a bit over the years, Noreen Dollinger said, offering something for everyone from avid history buffs to those out for a beautiful fall day in the country. The historical detail of the event is what brings many back year after year.
“As we’ve grown, we’ve been able to add more actors and to do more historically correct battles,” Dollinger said.
The Civil War battles are different each year. This year, Saturday’s reenactment will be the Battle of Gettysburg, after which the Gettysburg Address will be presented by a President Lincoln impersonator. On Sunday, the troops will re-enact the Battle of Chiamauga, and Abraham Lincoln will follow with a news conference.
Speaking at the event also will be Generals Grant, Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, Custer and Stuart. Mrs. Lincoln will make an appearance, also.
The history is so rich there that Dollinger said local high school students receive extra credit in history classes for attending.
Events both days include much more than the re-enactment of the battle. There is a “Church Call” first thing Sunday morning, the Battalion Parade early on both mornings, a cavalry drill, an artillery drill, a children’s induction ceremony, a ladies’ fashion show and even a medical procedure demonstration on how soldiers back in that time were treated for minor injuries.
There’s also a Confederate camp, a Union camp, a machine shed, an engine shop and a corral.
Dollinger said the pumpkin farm also will be open during the event, with its usual selection of pumpkins to buy for pies, jack-o-lanterns or just decorating. Also available are apples, Indian corn, gourds, squash, corn shocks, straw bales and mini pumpkins. The corn maze also will be open for an extra charge, as will the petting zoo, the miniature steam train and the farm playground.
Admission to Civil War Days and parking are free, with a charge for viewing the battle reenactments. There is a $21 a person charge for those going to the ABYSS Haunted Barn.