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Civil War Tribute In Orleans Saturday
Updated July 16, 2015 9:15 AM
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(ORLEANS) - The town of Orleans is celebrating it's 200 Days of Celebration with a tribute to the Civil War.

"We want to pay tribute at least in some way to our Civil War heritage during this bicentennial celebration year and this event will allow us to touch on that period of our town's interesting history," Orleans 200 Chairman Robert Henderson says.

Orleans produced one of Indiana's outstanding military leaders during the Civil War in Brig. Gen. William T. Spicely, a key player in the role of the Battle of Vicksburg.

"From a battlefield commission of captain during the Mexican War, Spicely rose through the ranks to general, commanding the 24th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War," Henderson added.

He led the very first group of volunteers from Orange County who answered President Lincoln's call in 1861, made up largely of men and boys from the Orleans community. Spicely was also one of the first teachers in Orleans in the free schools and served as postmaster as well.

Civil War era re-enactors will present living history demonstrations and firing drill practices during a Civil War encampment to be set up on historic Congress Square) on Saturday. The event will be in conjunction with the Orange County Homegrown Orleans Farmers' Market.

Visitors can see a period "camp display" where soldiers will show what Civil War camp life was like. Marching and shooting demonstrations are planned throughout the day on Saturday. Organizers also hope to be able to conduct a "mini-militia" for area children who want to learn the basics of Civil War marching and drill.

President Abraham Lincoln, portrayed by Larry Elliott, will meet and greet visitors and will pose for pictures. He will deliver his famed Gettysburg Address from the bandstand Saturday at 10 a.m.

Longtime local Civil War en-enactor Brian Dorsett is helping to organize the event.

A Civil War era musical concert is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday night with the group Stony Point. This is a free concert. Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

The closing event of the weekend is set for 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Spicely's grave site in Greenhill Cemetery, just west of the town square on Jefferson Street. A brief memorial ceremony will include a gun salute and wreath-laying. The public is welcome to attend.

The event is made possible with the help of not only the re-enactor groups, but Orleans 200 Committee, Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Orleans American Legion, Town of Orleans, the Boy Scouts, and Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit French Lick/West Baden).

For information, call the Orleans chamber office at (812) 865-9930 or visit

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