Southwest Kansans can learn about the life of the common American Civil War soldier in the upcoming annual “Evening in the Past” presentation on the patio at the Finney County Historical Museum in Garden City.
Entitled “Recollections from the Civil War,” the program is set for 6 p.m. May 20, presented by Holcomb native Troy Krehbiel, an experienced Civil War reenactor.
Krehbiel’s presentation will be preceded by an old-fashioned fried chicken picnic dinner, served with side dishes, iced tea and ice cream.
Admission is $20 per person, with proceeds benefitting programs and exhibits at the museum.
Admission is by reservation only, due to limited seating, and reservations are open until noon May 16 or all seats are sold, whichever comes first.
The Evening in the Past program has taken place annually since 2015. This year’s presentation is supported by the Finney County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and sponsored by Edward Jones Financial Advisor Preston Johnson, Golden Plains Credit Union and Valley State Bank.
The guest presenter will be portraying Sgt. Gilbert R. Tate of the 31st Indiana Infantry, on detached duty with the Pioneer Brigade of the Army of the Cumberland.
The brigade, an engineering unit composed of troops assembled from various regiments throughout the Union Army, saw action in the Tullahoma, Chickamauga and Chattanooga Campaigns, and played an important role in halting a major Confederate advance during the Battle of Stones River in late 1862 and early 1863, securing a victory for Union Major General William Rosecrans.
Krehbiel’s Sgt. Tate will be speaking as if he is on furlough after reenlisting, sharing his recollections of Army life and battlefield experiences.
“The Pioneer Brigade is a pretty interesting group that not many people know about, so I thought it might be fun to shed some light on some of them,” Krehbiel said. He will be appearing in full period uniform with authentic weaponry and equipment.
Krehbiel has participated in numerous Civil War battle reenactments and encampments, and recently returned from portraying a U.S. corporal during an event at the Fort Larned National Historic Site. He also periodically portrays characters at Bent’s Old Fort National Historic site near Las Animas, Colo. He has extensive knowledge about the Civil War era of 1861-65.
Reservations and payment by check or cash may be made 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays at the FCHS offices, accessible through the north door of the museum at 403 S. Fourth Street in Garden City’s Finnup Park; or 1-5 p.m. daily at the museum’s front desk, accessible from the exhibit entrance near the Ben Grimsley arches at Lee Richardson Zoo. Reservations by credit card are not available.
In many past years, featuring other figures from 19th Century Kansas and the American West, the gathering has sold out in advance. The program will move indoors at the museum in case of threatening weather. Information is available at 620-272-3664.