Home Page Feature Image

Sesquicentennial Events

Union Occupation Reenactment

Join us April 20-21, 2013 for an Union Reenactment event taking place in Bowling Green, the short-lived Confederate Capital of Kentucky. After forcing the Rebels out of town in February of 1862, Union soldiers continued to occupy the streets of town until the end of the war. This living history event will be on the grounds of the L&N Depot at the Historic Railpark & Train Museum featuring living history demonstrations, artillery drills, children’s games led by national marbles champion Melissa Page, historic architectural walking tours, a ladies’ tea, cemetery lantern tours, a Military Ball, a period church service, and a memorial service. All of these events take place within walking distance in downtown Bowling Green except for the memorial service to be held at Fairview Cemetery. See our full event listing here for a schedule of events. All activities are free to the public! For information on how to register for these events, call the BG Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-326-7465. There is no charge for re-enactors to participate and several meals plus a bounty will be provided, but there is a limit, so advanced registration is required. REGISTRATION IS CLOSED. Spectators can also enjoy the Railpark's Civil War exhibits and artifacts at a discounted admission on April 20, or venture down to the Kentucky Museum to view its "A Star in Each Flag: Conflict in Kentucky" exhibit. Nearby Riverview at Hobson Grove, one of the sites on Kentucky's Civil War Trail, is another popular stop for heritage travelers.

“Witness: Photographs of a Nation Divided”

WKU’s School of Journalism and Broadcasting and the History Department present this gallery show at Mass Media and Technology Hall atrium and gallery on display Jan. 24–March 29, 2013 excluding the week of March 11. Hours are Monday – Wednesday, 9 am – 9 pm, Thursday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm and on Sundays from 3 pm – 9 pm. This collection consists of Civil War photography and historic information as well as a re-creation of Matthew Brady’s famous 1862 photographic exhibition documenting the Civil War’s Battle of Antietam, including rarely seen reproductions of images in 3D. For more information, call the Journalism and Broadcasting office at (270) 745-4144 or visit http://www.wku.edu/transportation/visitors/index.php for a map of available visitor parking.

Other Events in Region

Civil War Living History Date: August 31, 2013; Lewisburg, KY; City Park from 9am-4pm 270-893-6320 The Civil War Living History event will be full of fun for the whole family. Experience Civil War life with settlers, craftspeople, re-enactors and cannonfire, an archery tournament, a small skirmish, food and even a bouncy castle for the kids. Visit the Kentucky Historical Society website to learn more about Civil War events across the state.

Past Events

The Yankees are Coming... and They Have Coffee!! Join us on Thursday, February 16, 2012 at the Historic Railpark and Train Museum from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. as we commemorate the 1862 Union capture of Bowling Green. Enjoy coffee, donuts, live music, Southern Belles and uniformed soldiers. A brief presentation from "Josie Underwood" and Dr. Michael Trapasso as well as a Ceremonial Surrender of Bowling Green will also take place. This event is free and open to the public. Drill Event, 6th Kentucky Riverview at Hobson Grove Date: February 25, 2012; 12pm 270-843-5565 The lawn of Riverview will be the site where the 6th Regiment will drill their new recruits in this annual event. This group of Civil War era reenactors will be on the grounds starting at 12 p.m. to drill and practice other maneuvers. No reservations required. Bowling Green and the Civil War Riverview at Hobson Grove Date: February 25, 2012; 2pm 270-843-5565 Nancy Baird, retired Kentucky History Specialist at the WKU Kentucky Library, will discuss the events in Bowling Green during the Civil War and its importance as a military base in Kentucky. Reservations are not required. Civil War Days for area schools Kentucky Museum Date: March 16 & 23, 2012 270-745-6082 Book your school for a truly special Civil War experience. Four stations will be staffed by professional Civil War interpreters, musicians and performers. Students will engage in hands-on activities. Civil War Collections, Online Exhibit Kentucky Library & Museum, WKU Libraries Date: Ongoing The American Civil War divided our nation with Kentucky and Kentuckians playing a significant role in the conflict. The Kentucky Library & Museum houses thousands of images and objects related to the American Civil War. This web site is a sampling of these materials.

Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Kickoff in Bowling Green

At 8 am, September 16, 1861, 5000 Confederate troops disembarked in Bowling Green, KY, from the 10 locomotives and 200 box cars confiscated in Nashville, TN by General Simon Bolivar Buckner. The town of 3000 people found themselves suddenly thrown into the burgeoning conflict and the center of Kentucky’s Confederate Government. The following events took place on September 17, 2011 as Bowling Green commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the Confederate invasion on our town in 1861. In addition to touring the 'A Star in Each Flag: Conflict in Kentucky' Civil War exhibit at The Kentucky Museum, visitors will delight in learning simple Civil War dances and visiting with President & Mrs. Lincoln. Activities for children include a scavenger hunt and Civil War writing. Families will enjoy visiting the photographer’s studio and dressing in period clothing. At the exhibit, visitors may walk through a simulated campsite, view a slave cabin, step into a community post office, and examine period artifacts including John Hunt Morgan’s saddle, various medical instruments, Civil War flags, weapons and more. Beginning at 8 am to commemorate the Confederate invasion, local and state officials and area residents will gather at the Historic Railpark and Train Museum for a reenactment and the official opening of the museum exhibit 'The Civil War and the Railroad.' Following the exhibit opening, a local Civil War expert will present “The Confederate Invasion of Bowling Green.” Guests can then enjoy a Civil War Living History exhibit on the grounds with craftsman exhibiting period skills such as blacksmithing, weaving/spinning, chair bottom weaving, woodcarving, tinsmithing, basketmaking. The morning’s re-enactors will march from the L&N Depot to Riverview at Hobson Grove where they will conduct military demonstrations. Inside the historic house will be interpreters demonstrating the woman’s perspective and docents explaining Riverview’s role as munitions storage. A special presentation, “The Rise and Fall of a Confederate State Capital” will be given at 11 a.m. In addition, view a special Juried Fine Art Exhibition featuring works inspired by the Victorian time period of 1840-1890. For the first time, two wild caving trips will venture into the rarely seen upper passage ways of Lost River Cave to view the Civil War soldier smoke writing. These Smoke Writing Tours will be offered at 10 am and 2 pm only. Special presentations including costumed diary readings and researched details will be shared on the tour. Tickets for this tour will be sold first come, first serve at a cost of $25.00 per ticket, no discounts apply. Enjoy a self-guided architectural tour of Downtown Bowling Green’s Civil War buildings with costumed interpreters at most locations to share some history and lore. Tour begins at The Presbyterian Church at 1003 State Street and is available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Maps of locations will be available at The Presbyterian Church. Participate in a Civil War Ghost Tour in downtown Bowling Green! Hear tales from four of Bowling Green’s Civil War ‘spirits’ on this tour presented by local theater troupe, Fountain Square Players. Choose from four different departure times beginning at 6 p.m., but space is limited. Tours depart from the Historic Railpark & Train Museum and last approximately 2 hours. Download the Full Schedule of Events Flyer here. An Unknown Soldier Memorial Service will take place on Sunday, September 18, 2011 at 2 p.m. The Service will be at the Confederate Monument inside Fairview Cemetery and will be officiated by Pastor Paul Fryman of State Street Methodist Church.