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Play Relives Civil War In Illinois

This story originally appeared in the Neoga News

The bloody battles of the Civil War took place far from Illinois, but the pain they caused was felt across the Prairie State. 

The Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site offers a look back at this terrible time on June 14 with a living history event and a play.

The play, “A Question of Loyalty,” takes the audience to 1864, when hard feeling between Southern sympathizers and Union soldiers exploded into violence in Charleston, not far from where Abraham Lincoln’s step-mother and relatives lived. 

A week later, cousin Dennis Hanks said in a letter to the president: “Abe we had a horrible time a Munday … I never saw such a time There was 8 or 10 killed …”

Aside from the New York draft riots, the Charleston Riot was the bloodiest confrontation on Union soil between soldiers and citizens during the Civil War. The original play by Earl Halbe focuses on a personal story between the actual participants in the riot.

It takes place in the historic site’s Visitor Center Auditorium at 2 p.m. 

Throughout the day, the site’s historic interpreters will portray Lincoln’s family as they cope with difficult news from the battlefield.

Lincoln’s nephew, Alfred Hall, fought in a series of battles with the 123rd Illinois Infantry as a part of General Sherman’s campaign to take Atlanta. He was wounded at Pumpkinvine Creek, Ga., ending his combat service during the war.

Join Sarah Lincoln, her daughter Matilda and the rest of the extended Lincoln family as they receive news from Alfred about his injuries. Then join the discussion about how they’ll reach the military hospital in Nashville where Alfred is recuperating.

Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, administered by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, re-creates the 19th century home of Thomas and Sarah Bush Lincoln, father and step-mother of the president. It is part of the Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area and was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Programming at the site is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Illinois General Assembly.

For more information about the site and its programming call the site at (217) 345-1845 or visit You can also follow the site on Facebook: