Archive for Sunday, May 5, 1996


May 5, 1996


Civil War Days will give Lawrence residents a living history lesson in August.

Lawrence will be transported back in time this summer when Union soldiers make camp on the banks of the Kansas River and a wagon train passes through.

As part of a weeklong Civil War Days commemoration, a Civil War camp will be set up Aug. 22 through Aug. 25 in Constant and Burcham parks. Rob Phillips, organizer of Civil War Days, said as many as 200 Civil War re-enactors will be dressed in Union and Confederate uniforms, replicating camp life of the 1860s.

``You will see people doing tasks just as they would during the Civil War,'' said Phillips, who is general manager of the historic Eldridge Hotel, the week's sponsor.

Wagon train encampments also will be held from Aug. 22 to Aug. 25.

The week of events, which will begin Aug. 18, was planned to coincide with the 133rd anniversary of Quantrill's Raid. On Aug. 21, 1863, nearly 300 pro-slavery guerrillas raided Lawrence, killing 160 men and boys and burning much of the town, including the Eldridge Hotel.

The soldiers' camp will be hosted by the 4th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry U.S., a re-enactment unit. Direct participants will be serious hobbyists who regularly attend re-enactment events.

Phillips said the emphasis will be on authenticity, with re-enactors using tools and clothing that replicate those of the period. The camps even will be stocked with appropriate livestock, he said.

``A lot of them sew their own clothes. They pay close attention to detail,'' Phillips said. ``I like to think of it as getting more in tune with history than you would reading a book.''

Other events are being planned, but final details have not yet been made. Those events include a Civil War ball, lectures on history, a Native American dance, an 1860s ice cream social and stagecoach re-enactments.

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