Tuesday, September 16, 2014 Last update: 6:03 PM
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Civil War Days in Naperville returns May 17-18

Companies mentioned in this article: Naper Settlement

NAPERVILLE, Ill., May 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Civil War Days is an annual tradition held for more than 30 years at Naper Settlement, a history museum located at 523 S. Webster St. in Naperville, Ill. This year, the Civil War encampment will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18. More than 300 re-enactors portray the life and times of soldiers and civilians of the 1860s.

There is a battle reenactment each day at 2:30 p.m., in addition to infantry and artillery drills, first-person historical interpretations, period music, recruitment rallies and medical and cooking demonstrations. Visitors to the family-friendly event can meet famous people of the past, who made a difference in history. Tickets are $15 adults, $10 youth 4-12. Save $5 on advance tickets available at www.napersettlement.org.

This year's presentations will focus on the 150(th) anniversary of the Civil War with an emphasis on the events of 1864. Paul Wood, who portrays General Lee, and Larry Werline, who portrays General Grant, are members of the performance troupe Grant, Lee, Custer & Co. During Civil War Days, these titans of history will discuss the strategies and pivotal battles of 1864. Troupe members Andy Hare as Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and Tom Peacock as Gen. George Armstrong Custer will talk about the critical role of the cavalry.

Several new presentations will focus on women's roles during the war, including an "Interview with the First Ladies," featuring Donna Daniels as Mary Todd Lincoln and Roberta Grenz as Varina Davis.

"They had fairly similar backgrounds - both were well-educated, very knowledgeable about politics and were able to help their husbands advance their careers," Daniels said.

Mary Todd Lincoln and the relationship with her half-sister, Emilie Todd Helm, who was married to a Confederate general, will be explored in "Divided." Valerie Gugala as Mary and Gina Payne as Emilie will portray the two sisters.

A new presentation, the "Great American Medicine Show with Music, Magic and Mirth," features Professor B.T. Farquar, portrayed by Sanford Lee. In between shows, his wife, Mary Kay Lee, will teach juggling and Victorian games, and do palm readings, which were a form of entertainment in the 1860s.

"I have always had a great love of American history," Sanford Lee said. "Our show offers a little storytelling and comedy and old-timey music and magic."

For more information, visit www.napersettlement.org.

SOURCE Naper Settlement