Experience area close-up: 1863 Civil War Journey

In 2011, 1863 Civil War Journey opened at Conner Prairie.

Staff Report
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be diving deeper into another experience area: 1863 Civil War Journey.

Civil War Journey opened in 2011 due in large part to the many requests received from school groups to have some sort of Civil War experience for students to go through. That year also happened to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

Unlike other Conner Prairie experience areas, when visitors step into Civil War Journey they’re traveling back to a specific day – July 13, 1863, the day after Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan raided the Indiana town of Dupont.

A school group listens to the tale of Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raid on Dupont, Ind., inside Civil War Journey’s Dry Goods Store.

Over the course of five days, starting July 8, Morgan’s men raided several other Indiana towns also, including Corydon, Salem and Versailles. They left behind a trail of destruction resulting in more than $1 million in claims and wages in Indiana and Ohio.

In Civil War Journey, visitors to Dupont interact with costumed interpreters who share the story about what happened the day before, when Gen. Morgan ransacked the store and burned down several buildings. After an interactive media experience at the Dry Goods Store, visitors participate in war drills from a Union Army soldier, learn about medical procedures of the day, dress up like Union Soldiers in the quartermaster station and more.

Plus, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, younger visitors can enjoy River Crossing, which has elements focused on the Alice Dean steamboat, which Gen. Morgan captured in 1863 on the Ohio River near Mauckport, Ind.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the next few weeks as we explore even more of what Civil War Journey has to offer. And be sure to check out Civil War Journey the next time you visit Conner Prairie.