Calling all Hoosiers!

In 1861, in the wake of the start of the War Between the States, Abraham Lincoln called the nation to action to quickly raise an army and Indiana answered. Men of all backgrounds stepped forward to preserve the Union, many whom had no military training of any kind. These men had to leave their homes, families and lives behind to train and become a part of a larger cause, one that brought our country back together, but not without sacrifice.

2011 is the first of four years the country will celebrate the sesquicentennial (that’s 150 years) of the Civil War. Battle recreations and other events are happening all over the United States to honor this period in American History. Indianapolis itself has a piece of Civil War history and is a place that thousands visit every year. Ever wonder how Military Park received its name? This patch of urban landscape, then known as Camp Sullivan, was used to train and stage, or muster, troops during the Civil War.

To honor Indiana’s, as well as Military Park’s, role in the war, the Indiana State Museum is hosting Muster in the Park on Saturday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get a taste of what it was like for both the men and women who sacrificed their livelihood for the greater cause of preserving the Union. Meet soldier re-enactors on the museum’s front lawn as they demonstrate the drills that turned everyday men into war-ready soldiers. Don’t miss a chance to get into the thick of the action by joining the ranks to see if you have what it takes to train as a Civil War soldier. See how medical practices created during the Civil War have influenced modern medical procedures. See how women adjusted to life without their husbands, fathers and brothers. Hands-on activities will help children experience 1860s life for children of the same age. And don’t miss Abraham Lincoln and other historical characters as they all give their perspective on the war itself.

Come prepared to watch the Civil War come alive!