The citizens of Boscobel are proud to host the 22nd Annual Muskets & Memories Civil War Era Reenactment and GAR Heritage Encampment August 1-3, 2014.

Muskets & Memories

Twenty years ago a cadre of historically minded fellows got together at a local coffee shop in Boscobel and discussed a way to recognize and honor the John McDermott GAR Hall in Boscobel. The result of that meeting was that the following October, 26 hardy Civil War living historians (reenactors) gathered at Kronshage Park, in the freezing rain no less, to honor the GAR Hall. They had no budget and no spectators, just a desire to keep American history alive by having the first Civil War Era Reenactment and GAR Heritage Encampment in Boscobel, WI. It has been reported that the hardy folks had such a good time, that, if the date was changed to more agreeable weather, they would tell their comrades and continue to come to Boscobel. Thanks to the originators and dedicated reenactors ever since, the event had grown to become one of the ten best Civil War Era reenactments in the country! Attracting nearly 1,000 participants and over 8,000 spectators each year, guests annually come from across the nation and several foreign countries to attend this interactive educational event.

Civil War era activities for the weekend include a ladies garden party, fashion show, ball, pie social, children's activities, music programs, church service, first person impressions, medical history demonstrations, workshops, sutlers vending period goods and garments, guided tours of the Union, Confederate and civilian camps, military drills, and, of course, the popular battle reenactments. Both the North and the South are well represented with infantry, cavalry, artillery and medical units along with camp followers and civilian sympathizers on both sides. See the schedule of activities for a complete guide to the weekend activities and the Photo Gallery with images from previous years. Please thank our supporters and patronize our sponsoring businesses while in Boscobel.

GAR HallThe Muskets and Memories event honors and supports Boscobel's John McDermott Post #101, Grand Army of the Republic Hall, the last active Hall in Wisconsin, and one of only a few Halls nationwide with a continuously active history. The Hall is a repository of rare Civil War memorabilia that will be open to the public during the event. A portion of the event proceeds each year are donated to the preservation of the hall and its contents.

The Hall is home to the Women's Relief Corps, Post #32 that has been primarily responsible for its continuing operation during the years since the demise of the GAR. The Hall is also home to the L. G. Armstong Camp #49 of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War.

The American Civil War Shooting Assn., (ACWSA), hosts a concurrent live-fire meet at the Sportsman's Club. Participants in period dress fire Civil War shoulder arms at targets, both as individuals and teams. The ACWSA also offers spectators the opportunity to fire a CW musket for a nominal donation to the GAR Hall. This activity takes place on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Immediately following the Saturday afternoon battle reenactment, there is a live-fire competition for cannons and a Gatling gun and Punt Gun demonstration at the club. The Gatling gun, predecessor of the modern machine gun, saw very limited action near the end of the Civil War.

Civil War reenactment

UW-Platteville offers college credit to persons participating in this event. Reenacting units will recruit, equip, and train candidates who then earn credit by participating in the unit's weekend activities. Credit is available to undergrad and graduate students as well as recertifying teachers. For more information about this program, please contact the UW- Platteville Office of Continuing Education, Rich Morgan at 1-608-342-1347 or e-mail morganr@uwplatt.edu.

This activity-filled weekend event has become a favorite for families as well as the serious history buff. General admission is $10 per day, age 7 - 12 is $4, and under age 7 is free. Group, family, and weekend rates are available. For lodging, camping, RV parking and other area information please contact the Chamber at (608) 375-2672 or bchamber@centurytel.net. For more information, please see the schedule of activities or contact us.