April is just around the corner and, here in Galena, that means it’s time for General Ulysses S. Grant’s Birthday Weekend (April 21-23, 2023) and Grant’s Home Front Civil War Reenactment (April 28-30, 2023). Both events are highly popular, drawing thousands of spectators for a chance to step back in time to the tumultuous 19th century.
There’s no end to the rich history you will find in Galena, IL. The area is home to a wide variety of historical attractions. Fascinating museums and historic homes like the U.S. Grant Home, The Old Market House, Apple River Fort, the Old Blacksmith Shop, and the Elihu B. Washburne House.
Those wishing to really travel back in time will want to visit in April to attend Grant’s Birthday Weekend or the Home Front Civil War Reenactment.
U.S. Grant’s Birthday Celebration Weekend
Ulysses S. Grant was born 201 years ago on April 27nd, 1822. Galena commemorates this historic event every year with three days of fun and celebration held on or near Grant’s actual birthday. This year’s festivities are scheduled for April 21st through the 23rd, 2023.
The event typically includes Lamplight Tours of President Grant’s Home and Elihu Washburne’s Home, with a chance to meet President and Mrs. Grant. The museum will offer free admission with special events and and free blacksmithing demonstrations are given at The Blacksmith Shop.
Other attractions include Grant’s birthday cake, a pie auction, community dinner, Sunday service, and much more.
Visit galenahistory.org for further details as they are released.
Grant’s Home Front Civil War Reenactment 2023
Grant’s Home Front Civil War Reenactment is held on the 4th weekend of April every year, in Galena, IL: April 28 – 30, 2023. This popular, living history event, includes actors portraying soldiers and citizens of the 1860’s in a Civil War encampment.
Attendees will witness Civil War era military drills, daily battles, medical demonstrations, and more. Living history stations include infantry, artillery, medical, and civilian. You’ll even have the chance to speak with the reenactors in character, including General Grant and his staff!
Be sure to stop by the Sanitary Fair to pick up a memento of the weekend. This Civil War Ladies Bazaar in support of the troops includes a variety of beautiful, handmade items for sale.
Grant’s Home Front 2023 Schedule
April 28 – 30, 2023, in Galena’s Depot Park at 91 Bouthillier Street.
Saturday, April 29
9am – Camps open to the public
10am – Sanitary Fair opens
11:30am – Battle on the Fever River
1pm – Talk to Public in Camp
4pm – Camps close
Sunday, April 30
10am – Camps open
11am – Galena Soldiers Aid Society Meeting
1:30pm – Battle on the Fever River
2:30pm – Camps Close
Best of all, our Galena bed and breakfast, Hawk Valley Retreat and Cottages, is just 8 miles east of downtown Galena. So go ahead, enjoy all the fun and excitement in town, then it’s just minutes back to the warm and welcoming, natural serenity of Hawk Valley Retreat. The makings of a perfect getaway!