2019 Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda
Relive history at the 28th Annual Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda, Illinois on July 13-14, 2019 at the Lake County Discovery Museum. Don’t miss northern Illinois’ largest Civil War Reenactment with over 600 reenactors! Canceled due to “Safety Concerns” after 28 years. (Read Details) The Lake County Discovery Museum presents the annual Civil War Days encampment, featuring infantry, cavalry and artillery reenactors, as well as musicians, sutlers, medical personnel and civilians. Ongoing drills, kids’ activities, and Civil War era shopping is available both days.
Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda
The boom of cannons, the crack of rifles, the galloping of horse hooves welcomes you at the Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda. Watch as union and confederate forces collide in battle reenactments. A large scale battle can be viewed on both Saturday and Sunday. Visit the 1863 Summer Fair, meet President Lincoln and shop Civil War era vendors. Kids enjoy period crafts, games and a scavenger hunt.
Wander the Camps, talk to reenactors.
Visitors of all ages to Wauconda Civil War Days are invited to explore the military and civilian camps to learn about life in the 1860s. In the civilian camps and Civil War shops, visitors can meet blacksmiths, quilters, tin smiths and other historical figures from the era. In the military camps, re-enactors bring to life activities such as payday, weapon checks, mail call and drills.
Meet Historical Figures
While exploring the grounds of the Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda, visitors can meet historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and generals Lee, Jackson, Custer, Grant and Sherman. Kids can enjoy special period crafts and games, period magic show and complete a scavenger hunt around the site.
1863 Summer Fair
The Summer Fair portrays July 1863 in Lake County, Illinois. As always, the Summer Fair at the Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda will take the local facts from the period and present them in a unique civilian living history venue. Imagine—a war-time summer agricultural and social event in a prosperous, hard-working county of the President’s own great state of Illinois! Each annual 1863 Summer Fair is a chance for dedicated living historians who love their craft to showcase their talents. All you need is one good historic item, homegrown plant or fascinating concept that you can build a plausible Fair Entry around. If you don’t wish to exhibit at the Fair, we hope you’ll drop by for a browse! Summer Fair Registration »View more details about the 1863 Summer Fair, including ‘impression categories’ and contests.
Wauconda Civil War Days Mini Gallery
Local Civil War Involvement
Although no Civil War battles took place in Illinois, Lake County citizens had a direct involvement that makes the Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda relevant. Illinois sent the second-most troops of any state to serve in the Union forces, and Lake County sent some 2,000 men — or a quarter of its population in the early 1860s. Additionally, soldiers from the Illinois were awarded 112 Medals of Honor between 1861 and 1865. Then there is the fact that Abraham Lincoln, thought born in Kentucky and living until he was 21 in Indiana, spent his adult and political years in Illinois, serving as a Congressman before being elected President.
Tickets may be purchased online or on-site. Purchase tickets online and save $1 on admission. Please note, on-site payment is cash only. Tickets include parking and free admission to the museum.
Daily: $10 adults, $5 youth (ages 4–17) and seniors (62 and up). Children 3 and under are free.
Weekend pass: $15, $7 youth and seniors. Purchase weekend pass »
Saturday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Registration for Re-enactors
Be part of the action at the Lake County Forest Preserves Civil War Days in Wauconda. Whether a Union, Confederate or civilian participant, or you want to be here as part of the Summer Fair or as a Sutler, chose the link below to register.
Registration for Military and Civilian Reenactor Registration »
Summer Fair Registration »