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April 12th marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the most traumatic event in American history, the Civil War. To commemorate this momentous event in our nation’s history, a free program Disunion! The War Begins! will be held at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, on Tuesday, April 12 at 8 p.m.
“It is appropriate that we are holding this event at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site since J.F.D. Lanier did so much to help Indiana during the Civil War,” said Lanier site manager Gerry Reilly.
On that date in 1861 Confederate cannons fired on Fort Sumter, a federal installation located off Charleston, South Carolina. This action tore the country in two and started a conflict that killed over 600,000 Americans out of a total population of thirty-two million. If the same percentage of the U.S. population were killed in a war today the total would exceed five million. Almost every family in the country would have lost a loved one during the four years of war.
Prior to the Lanier ceremony, Gail Stephens will present a talk: The Shadow of Shiloh, Maj. General Lew Wallace in the Civil War to the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable. The talk, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Lanier Visitor Center, is also free and open to the public (those wishing to attend the Disunion! ceremony are not required to attend the talk). At 8 p.m. one hundred and fifty luminaries will be lit around the grounds of the Lanier Mansion and a ceremony will be held at the Civil War Memorial on the Visitor Center Plaza. The 30-program will include period music and readings describing the start of the war from 1861 letters, diaries and the Madison Daily Courier. The Nelson Artillery re-enactors (Confederate) will provide a bagpiper and a bugler for the event and will fire a cannon to mark the assault on Fort Sumter.
The event is sponsored by the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre and the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable
Lanier Mansion State Historic Site is located in Madison, Indiana, along the Ohio River. Part of the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, a division of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Lanier Mansion boasts a heroic story and superb architecture. This Greek Revival home belonged to J.F.D. Lanier, who helped finance Indiana’s part in the Civil War. For more information, call 812.265.3526 or visit indianamuseum.org/lanier.