Civil War re-enactors mark Gettysburg 150th

ST. JOSEPH — On Wednesday, July 31, at 6:30, Heritage Museum and Cultural Center hosts an event marking the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place July 1-3, 1863.

Local re-enactors Theadore and Faye Chamberlain of St. Joseph will present a program, “A Visit with General and Mrs. Chamberlain.”

The Chamberlains will be dressed in period costume, portraying Gen. Joshua Chamberlain and his wife, Fannie. Ted is a direct descendant of the Union general who was a hero of the battle of Gettysburg. Gen. Chamberlain successfully defended the area known as Little Round Top from attacking Confederate forces, paving the way for Union victory.

The episode is featured in the 1993 film, “Gettysburg.”

Attendees will also have the opportunity to visit the newly expanded exhibit, “Southwest Michigan in the Civil War.”

New interactive components include a “battlefield dig box” with replicas of items found at Civil War battle sites. A quilt which was created to raise funds for the Grand Army of the Republic is on loan from the Michigan State Museum. An interactive quilt will allow visitors to try out patterns that were popular in the 1860s.

There will also be a chance to meet Frank, the Gettysburg War Horse.

Frank was a horse from Dowagiac which served in more than a dozen battles.

Admission to the program is $5 and free for students and members of the Heritage Museum.

Program attendees will also be admitted to the “Southwest Michigan in the Civil War” exhibit. The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center is located at 601 Main St. in St. Joseph. Call 983-1191 or visit www.theheritagemcc.org for more information.

 

About the presenters

 

Faye and Ted Chamberlain are natives of opposite coasts of the United States, Faye from Eastern Pennsylvania and Ted from Western Oregon. They fell in love with the Midwest and made Michigan their home for most of their 47 years of life together.

They received their bachelor’s degrees in Maryland (while Ted was serving in the military at Walter Reed Army Medical Center), their master’s degrees in Michigan and California, and Ted completed his doctoral studies at the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif.

Both have been university professors and, more recently, business people. Faye is a member of the National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, while Ted is a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

For more than 20 years, Ted has indulged his lifetime love of American history by portraying his cousin, Civil War hero General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (His career has closely followed that of his illustrious cousin: soldier, clergyman, professor, and businessman.). Faye has recently joined him with her portrayal of the general’s wife, Francis (Fannie) Caroline Adams.

When not traveling to Civil War venues they spend their time in Berrien County, where Faye serves on the board of the Twin Cities Organ Concert Series and Ted has, for many years, been a member and officer of the board of the Berrien County Historical Association.

 

 

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