For the past thirty-four years, the Jackson Civil War Muster has grown to become one of the largest and most popular Civil War Musters in our countries Midwest. Everywhere I travel, and have conversations with people in Michigan, I discover that this event is well known and appreciated. Even when I participated in the recent 155th Gettysburg reenactment in Pennsylvania, reenactors from different states were discussing the upcoming Jackson Civil War Muster as an event they have and will continue to plan on being a part of.
I have been an active Civil War Historian since my 8th birthday in 1961. With that being the 100th anniversary period of the Civil War, schools and public throughout our nation were very engaged in recognizing this key history of our nation. It is critical that we continue to support and/or participate in ongoing activities to teach all persons that freedom in our nation was strengthened and expanded by maintaining our United States of America. The Jackson Civil War Muster continues to be a great historical learning tool for all persons. Living history is a critical method to reach out and engage everyone.
My wife and I have always been historians and recently researched our family’s military heritage in the Civil War. We both have relatives from Jackson that served in the Civil War. While doing recent Civil War ancestor research we were invited to join the Austin Blair Camp 7 in Jackson, Michigan where I am an actual Son of the Union Veterans. This resulted in having us invited to participate in actual living history events beginning with the Jackson Civil War Muster. We currently participate in many reenactments and living history events throughout our nation but always look forward to the Jackson Civil War Muster as our key event. Civilian and military reenacting offers great opportunities to engage persons of all ages and cultures. Individuals will be exposed to appreciate not just war but all aspects of life in the United States by those persons living during the Civil War era. The Jackson Civil War Muster is a great opportunity for persons of all ages to experience life during the Civil War through military reenactments, lectures, hands on demonstrations, displays, dances, cooking and shopping of the Civil War era. In addition the Ella Sharp Park grounds, museums and historic buildings will now even more set the stage for enhancing and accommodating this event.
I invite everyone to plan on visiting the Jackson Civil War Muster at Ella Sharp Park. Even though this will be a great transition year, plans are already being generated for growing and expanding the events activities every year going forward.
Written by Kim Paul Horning
Camp Austin Blair No 7 – Sons of Union Veterans
7th Michigan Volunteer Infantry, Co. B
Co. A - 14th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment – Sons of Veterans Reserve