The American Civil War (1861-1865) was the most devastating war ever fought on American soil, with 620,000 of 2.4 million soldiers killed, and injuries numbering in the millions. The war was a culmination of years of division between northern and southern states regarding issues of slavery, westward expansion, and state versus federal authority. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, the southern states seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. Civil War service men from Stearns County and Minnesota served in various regiments including the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment who fought in the Battle of First Bull Run, Antietam, and they played a pivotal role on the second day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
On Sunday, Aug. 11, from 1:00 – 4:30 p.m., the Melrose Area Museum will host a Civil War themed event. The event will include a uniformed Civil War interpreter, Civil War displays, free museum tours, live entertainment by local musicians, and refreshments. Free tours of the Oak Hill Cemetery will be available, and St. Mary’s and St. Patrick’s Cemeteries will have Veterans’ graves marked to pay homage to Civil War Veterans. The event will also offer a profile of Civil War Veterans and recognition of their descendants. Admission is free to those who bring a food shelf donation.
The Melrose Area Historical Society is an affiliate of the Stearns History Museum. The Melrose Area Museum is located at 518 East 2nd Street South, Melrose, MN 56352.