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Jackson’s Civil War Muster returns after 3 years

Civil War reenactors in Union uniforms march with flags and guns
Jackson Civil War Muster
There are two reenactments scheduled during the event.

The Jackson Civil War Muster is making a comeback for its 35th anniversary to Cascades Park this weekend. The Muster is the largest and longest-running Civil War event in the Midwest.

The last time the event was held was in 2018. This year, the event will feature a military ball, mock battles, the Camp Chase Fief and Drum Band, food and an 1860s coffee wagon.

Maurice Imhoff is the president of the Jackson County Michigan Historical Society. He says the event is meant to be an educational event, not just a battle reenactment. He adds learning about the Civil War is crucial, especially now.

“For the first time ever, ever in our nation’s history, we saw the Confederate flag in the United States Capitol building on January 6, 2021,” he said. “Now is a time to learn from our history, look back and see how we can improve.”

Imhoff says he wants people to come curious and ask questions. Visitors will get to interact with actors who will share stories about their characters.

He explains the event is a good learning experience for people who may be unaware of lesser-known historical facts about the Civil War, including Michigan’s involvement.

The state sent more than 90,000 men to fight in the South, including an African American regiment.

“We sent 1,000 African American men to the South, right here, men who took the Underground Railroad, who were free here in Michigan, who took up arms to go back to the South, and we have reenactors here who will tell that story, talk about those men and make sure those stories are told,” he said.

The free event opens Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Battles start at 2 p.m. on both days.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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