Bicentennial committee needs to continue efforts

Staff Writer
Washington Times-Reporter

On July 19, the Washington Square and Zinser House had some very distinquished guests.

These guests were there to give us some insight in what it was like during the Civil War.

Because it was a war on American soil, every community was affected, Washington included.

The Lincoln Bicentennial Committee of Washington put the event together as part of a year-long celebration for Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday next year.

The Living History of the Civil War Era was Washington’s first event, but, hopefully, not the last.

Visitors to the square were treated to a surgical demonstration, explaining the procedures and conditions field surgeons faced at the time.

Ron Kirchgessner portrayed Maj. Richard Conover from the 108th Illinois Infantry.

Although Kirchgessner gives his presentation at several Civil War reenactments and area schools, it was an added benefit July 19 because Conover began his medical studies under the tutelage of Dr. R.B.M. Wilson of Washington.

Also enlightening, as well as entertaining, were the Central Illinois Civil War Dancers.

As part of their demonstration, the dancers talked a little bit about how men and women interacted with each other.

They also invited audience members to dance with them at one point.

Despite the high temperatures, members of the committee, along with the presenters, were in period outfits to give the presentations a more historical flair.

The Portraits of the Past pulled members of the community to act out presentations about Washingtonians and their efforts before and during the war.

Both the committee and the Washington Historical Society did an excellent job of bringing Civil War history alive.

We encourage the committee to continue offering events throughout the remainder of the bicentennial celebration.

It is a good thing to remember that Washington is not an obscure community with a boring past, but a part of history’s tapestry.