In The News

Film covers Civil War in Southern Illinois

This article originally appeared in The Southern

By Codell Rodriguez

MURPHYSBORO — It may not be difficult to find films about the Civil War, but people were able to see a short documentary Saturday that focused on the war in Southern Illi-nois.

The film, “Caught in the Sweep of History: Egypt in the Civil War — the First Year,” premiered Saturday at Historic Liberty Theater in Murphysboro. The film, which focuses on John A. Logan and the local families affected by the war, is a companion to an exhibit at Gen. John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro. Richard Kuenneke made the film and co-wrote it with museum director P. Michael Jones.

Jones said he was pleased with the turnout, which nearly filled the theater. The film tells the story of local soldiers and their families and the important military occu-pation of Cairo.

One of the biggest crowd pleasers of the film was when Jones described Logan’s wife, Mary, and her fight with his sister, Annie. According to Jones, Annie, who disagreed with Logan’s decision to fight for the Union, made a comment about how she hoped her brother died before he left Jackson County. This led to a rumble for the ages that ended with Mary smashing a chair over the head of her sister-in-law.

He said it is important for people to know about how the Civil War affected Little Egypt. Jones said as he took part in the film, he became more and more interested in the local soldiers.

“I really got drawn into these people and it became a point to at least find out where these men are bur-ied,” Jones said.

He visits the graves in the film.

Kuenneke said he took part in the film to help Jones and to support the museum.

“Mike Jones is the kind of guy you can’t say no to,” Kuenneke said.

The film was funded through a grant from Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Illinois General Assembly.

Kuenneke said he is happy he was able to make the film so that the story of Southern Illinois is more accessible to those who want to learn about it.

Jones said he hopes he and Kuenneke can make more films telling the story of the region and the Civil War. Kuenneke said he is more than willing to roll the cameras again.

“I’ll be in standby mode, ready to go,” Kuenneke said.