The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, in partnership with the “Friends of Camp McDonald” group, are hosting a living history program on June 8, from 9:30am–5pm, free with regular Museum admission. Interpreters will focus on local history, dis-cussing both a Union and Confederate point-of-view. The program falls near the anniversary of Camp McDonald Day. Established on June 11, 1861, during the beginning of the Civil War, Camp McDonald served as a Confederate training camp for Georgia volunteers. The approximately 60-acre camp en-compassed a large portion of present-day downtown Kennesaw.
Visitors will have a chance to interact with costumed living historians and observe hourly weapons demonstrations and drills. A small Federal encampment will be located on the front yard of the Museum while visitors will find the Confederate side at Camp McDonald Park (across from Kennesaw City Hall), where the “Friends of Camp McDonald” will host their annual Camp McDonald Day. Dr. Richard Banz, Museum Executive Director, states, “We plan to explore a diverse conversation with visitors, more so than perhaps the traditional military history one typically hears. Educators will share stories of the roles of women and African-Americans during the war. We will highlight diverging voices of the time, representing both Confederate and Union, to demonstrate the complicated nature of the war and its impact on those in the area.”
Local historian, Michael K. Shaffer, will present lectures about Camp McDonald in the museum theater at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. Mr. Shaffer will also lead walking tours of the Camp McDonald Park site. Lo-cal groups, the civilian and medical core of the Georgia Division of Reenactors Association, Inc. and the Peachtree Handspinners Guild will interpret women’s experiences during the Civil War. Educators will demonstrate and discuss tasks associated with nursing and medical support during the war. The Peachtree Handspinners Guild will provide insight into daily life and chores revolving around textile production.