Lincoln and His Generals Take the Stage

Lincoln and His Generals Take the Stage at Orland Park History Museum
Posted on 01/21/2019
President Abraham Lincoln and three of his generals will discuss the last six months of the American Civil War at the Orland Park History Museum on Saturday, February 16.

The live presentation with Lincoln and his generals --- Grant, Sherman and Ord --- is being held in partnership with the museum’s Veterans’ Exhibit.

Max Daniels has been portraying President Abraham Lincoln for 30 years.

“I began portraying President Lincoln because of my physical resemblance and I soon became dedicated to the history,” he said. Portraying the nation’s 16th president has been Daniels’s full time job since 1994.

“This is a great way to observe Abraham Lincoln’s birthday in the Land of Lincoln --- watching the president and his generals in Orland Park,” said Trustee Kathy Fenton, village board liaison to the museum board.

The February 16 performance is open to adults age 21 and older and will be held from 12 p.m. until 1:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for veterans, $10 for museum members and $15 for non-members.

“The American Civil War was the most important event in our history,” said Larry Werline who portrays General Ulysses S. Grant. “It fundamentally changed who we are. Our first person portrayals help educate the public about this very important turning point in history.”

Asked if they were history teachers, Werline replied, “We are not history teachers but in a sense, we are.” Daniels added, “That’s our goal --- to teach the public about Civil War history.”

“We’ve read about the Civil War in history books and everyone at the museum is very excited to share a live performance showing what was happening as the Civil War was ending,” said Orland Park History Museum Curator Sarah Stasukewicz.

Marc Finnegan is retired having worked in the construction industry for 41 years. Finnegan has been involved with Civil War re-enacting for nearly 20 years. “For the last five years, I was with the Grant, Lee, Custer and Company. Larry Werline, who portrays General Grant, asked me to change my persona to Major General E.O.C. Ord.”

The February 16 presentation coincides with the museum’s current exhibit featuring Orland Park veterans.

“The museum invites veterans to come to the Lincoln show for a discounted admission rate,” Fenton said. “Everyone can enjoy the veterans’ display and see a true to life military performance.”

Bill Teshner, a special education teacher, portrays General William Tecumseh Sherman. “Our presentations are always very well received,” Teshner said.

“People most often tell me that this is the way history should be taught,” Werline said. “We relate more than just facts and dates but reveal to the audience how the character was in his life in context with the period portrayed.”

“We are presenting a historically correct impression to the public based on our own research,” Finnegan said.

Registration for the program is available online at https://bit.ly/2QT3q61 and in person at the Frederick T. Owens Village Hall, 14700 South Ravinia Avenue, and at the village’s Sportsplex, 11351 West 159th Street.

Registration is also available at the museum, 14415 South Beacon Avenue, on Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. and Thursdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Questions may be directed to the museum at (708) 873-1622.