Cannons to roar at Civil War encampment at Michigan Iron Industry Museum Saturday

A school group watches as flame shoots from a cannon during a demonstration by re-enactors of Battery D, First Michigan Light Artillery, at “Iron Ore and the Civil War.” The annual Civil War encampment at the Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee Township is open to school groups by reservation and to the public Saturday. (MIIM photo)

NEGAUNEE — Michigan Iron Industry Museum visitors can experience the sights and sounds of the Civil War when “Iron Ore and the Civil War,” a Civil War encampment, happens from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the museum.

The event includes costumed interpreters, artillery demonstrations, period music, a blacksmith forge and children’s games. In addition, the museum will show “The Better Angels of our Nature,” the last episode of “The Civil War” documentary series by Michigan native Ken Burns.

The screening of the hour-long episode begins at 1:30 p.m. in the museum auditorium.

“This is a family-fun event for people to experience everyday life of the Civil War, and to learn about Michigan’s role during the conflict,” said Michigan Iron Industry Museum historian Troy Henderson in a press release. “Museum guests will be able to enter a campsite and interact with the costumed interpreters to learn about the lives of soldiers during the 1860s.”

Battery D, First Michigan Light Artillery from Jackson will re-create Civil War army life with artillery and small-arms drills, camp cooking and soldiers’ pastimes. Dan and Deborah Choszczyk of Champion will be on the museum grounds demonstrating blacksmithing.

At least 90,000 Michiganders enlisted in Union forces during the Civil War, with more than 14,000 losing their lives. In addition to manpower, the Upper Peninsula’s iron ore resources were instrumental in helping to preserve the Union as wartime manufacturing expanded to meet the needs of the military, the civilian population and international trade.

The Michigan Iron Industry Museum is a nationally accredited museum located at 73 Forge Road in Negaunee, 8 miles west of Marquette; enter off of U.S. 41. For more information, call 906-475-7857 or visit

The Michigan History Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs foster curiosity, enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. It includes the Michigan History Museum, 10 regional museums, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, and the Archives of Michigan.

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