Friday, September 19th through Sunday, September 21st will be the third Annual General W. H. L. Wallace Memorial Weekend, entitled “Civil War ‘64,” will include several new events this year and a new encampment location at Fox River Park, in Ottawa, IL. This year’s new events will include two battle re-enactments, wandering musicians, coopering and blacksmith demonstrations, a vintage base ball game, and two very pertinent program speakers, Amanda Fesperman and John Heider.
Friday evening will feature an Open House at the Reddick Mansion from 6pm-9pm focused on women in the Civil War. At 7:00pm, Amanda Fesperman, historian and instructor at Illinois Valley Community College, will speak about Female Spies of the South and Women in the G. A. R. (Grand Army of the Republic).
Saturday’s events will include Union and Confederate encampments at Fox River Park with the re-enactment of the Battle of Mansfield, LA, at 3pm. Sutlers, vendors and food booths will also be set up at Fox River Park. The “Battlefield Balladeers” will be performing period music throughout Saturday and the 17th Corps Field Hospital, a favorite from last year, will again be demonstrating hospital and surgical techniques. Guided bus tours of the Dickey-Wallace Cemetery will depart from the Reddick Mansion from 12N-2:30pm. From 4:00pm to 6:30pm, several historic buildings in downtown Ottawa including the Masonic Temple, Christ Episcopal Church, St. Columba Church and the Reddick Mansion will be open to the public. At 6:30pm Saturday evening, a Luminary Program will be presented in Washington Square. 810 luminaries will be lit and dedicated to the LaSalle County soldiers, who died as result of the Civil War. At 7:30pm, at the 807 Building (807 La Salle Street, Ottawa, IL) John Heider of R.I.P, Ltd, a cemetery preservation service, will speak on “Old Cemetery Restoration / Strategy for Dickey-Wallace Cemetery”. A discussion and reception will follow the presentation.
In addition to the Civil War Encampment, Field Hospital, period demonstrations, vendors and sutlers at Fox River Park, new events on Sunday will include an early morning church service at for the soldiers with the public invited, a vintage base ball match between the Lemont Quarrymen and the Munster Centennials, and the re-enactment of the Battle of Pleasant Hill, LA.
Some events are free and a donation is expected for others. All money raised throughout the weekend will be used for the restoration and upkeep of the Dickey-Wallace Cemetery.