Civil War generals come to life

SYCAMORE – Throughout the country, museums and historic sites are marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Sycamore History Museum will host “1862” Saturday, Nov. 10. Actors portraying Generals Grant, Lee, Stuart, Thomas and Custer and Secretary of War Stanton will discuss the second year of the Civil War, a war that many thought would end quickly.

“1861” was featured last year. Each of the generals and Stanton will describe how the war changed in character, the impact of the war and high casualties. They will also explore how strategies and tactics changed in response to new technologies. Each of the generals in the show was successful in meeting the challenges of the year, whereas others fell by the wayside of history.

“We are fortunate to have such talented re-enactors in our area. General Grant, portrayed by Larry Werline, lives in Sycamore,” said Michelle Donahoe, executive director of the Sycamore History Museum. “Werline performs numerous times a year throughout the country, including appearances nearly every week in the summer at Lincoln historic sites in Springfield.”

The living history troupe Grant, Lee, Custer & Co. presents a series of Civil War related programs, including the play “Destiny at Appomattox.”

The program is one of four that will be presented over the next several years. The generals will describe what was going on in the North and South in 1862 based on letters and other primary research. Future programs, “1863,” “1864,” “1865” and “1866” will continue to explore life during and after the war. Each performance will correspond to what was going on in the country 150 years earlier.

Information about life in Sycamore at the time will also be incorporated into the evening’s events. For instance, Battery G, 2nd Illinois Light Artillery was formed in Sycamore in 1861 and served all four years of the war. DeKalb County’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient came from this unit.

The Sons of Union Veterans will also be present to talk about their role in preserving the history of Union soldiers who made so many sacrifices during the Civil War.

Tickets for “1862” will be available Nov. 1 at the Sycamore History Museum and the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce. For more information call 815-895-5762 or visit


7 p.m. Nov. 10

Federated Church, 612 W. State St., Sycamore

Tickets are $15 and are available at the Sycamore History Museum and the Sycamore Chamber of Commerce

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