Exhibit opens May 9th, 2014, the 150th anniversary of his death in battle.
A special program presented by guest speaker, author, educator and filmmaker, Ken Spurgeon, is scheduled for 2:00PM Saturday, May 24th, at the Museum. Special admission to the program and the Museum’s exhibits will be free of charge.
In the late 19th century, Kansas was known as the “Great Soldier State” because it attracted so many Civil War veterans. Many of the state’s 105 counties are named for Civil War heroes, including Sedgwick County, incorporated in 1870 and named in honor on Major General John Sedgwick. Major General Sedgwick was born in Connecticut in 1813 and was killed by a sharpshooter at the Battle of Spotsylvania on May 9, 1864. Sedgwick was the highest ranking Union casualty in the Civil War, and his last words are some of the most famous of the War: “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.”
A special component of the Museum’s award winning exhibit, Wichita: The Magic City, the display includes a letter written by Sedgwick, stationed at Fort Riley, to Brigadier General Thomas S. Jessup, Quartermaster General of the United States Army, recommending Lieutenant J.E. B. Stuart for an appointment in the Quarter Master Department, April 22, 1860.
Mr. Spurgeon was born and raised in Wichita. He holds degrees in History and Education from Wichita State University. In 2004, he founded Lone Chimney Films, Inc., a not-for-profit documentary film company dedicated to films about the Midwest. He has written (with Jonathon Goering) and produced two documentaries dealing with the Kansas-Missouri area during the Civil War: Touched by Fire: Bleeding Kansas, 1854-1861 and Bloody Dawn: The Lawrence Massacre, which he also directed. Both films have aired on PBS networks. Mr. Spurgeon is married and has four children. He enjoys sports, traveling, dancing and participating in living history activities such as Civil War reenacting.
The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum is open Tuesday – Friday from 11am to 4pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-5pm. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2 for children 6-12. Children under 6 and Museum members are admitted free of charge.