Civil War

Kevin Lavery, WKAR

The Grand Army of the Republic fought the Confederacy in the Civil War.  When the war was over, thousands of soldiers kept the name and formed their own fraternal organization.  The G.A.R. cared for veterans and their families decades before the creation of the Veterans Administration. 

On April 6, 1866 – 150 years ago this week – Union soldiers who’d fought in the Civil War came together to form one of the world’s first veterans organizations.

The Civil War battle at Antietam has been described as “America’s Bloodiest Day.” Authors Jack Dempsey and Brian James Egen have written the story of the role played by soldiers and civilians from our state in “Michigan at Antietam.”


A new book from the MSU Press looks at the cookbooks and foodways of Americans in the 1860s. “Food in the Civil War Era: The South” came out over the summer. It’s  part of a planned food history series from the MSU Press. Current State’s Melissa Benmark spoke with author Helen Zoe Veit of the MSU History Department.


First Michigan Colored Regiment marker photo
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Detroit was home to the first unit of African-American men trained to fight in the Civil War. Current State's Scott Pohl talks with historian Jack Dempsey about the First Michigan Colored Regiment.


Red theatre chair in display booth
Jason Tester Guerrilla Futures / Flickr

For the past four years, American have been captivated by events remembering the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Two years ago, the nation saw one of the largest gatherings in memory of the Battle of Gettysburg. Now we’ve come to the dramatic climax of the war: 150 years since the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

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