The recruiting elm at 150

"History Happened Here!"

The Recruiting Elm was an actual elm tree that was located on the Eureka College campus and has become famous for its historic significance. It was under this particular elm tree in April 1861 that Eureka students and faculty gathered to volunteer to fight in the Civil War. A total of 29 Eureka students and faculty joined Company G of the 17th Infantry of Illinois that day. The recruits elected Otis Asa Burgess as their captain. The Recruiting Elm itself has long fallen - however, as long as it stood, and as long as it remains in our memories -it represents those student's and faculty's selfless act and sacrifice for a larger cause.

On Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, events at Eureka College will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and the College’s own “Recruiting Elm” story. Young men from this campus helped form Company G of the 17th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. Their story entails a message of service, leadership, valor, heroism, and honor that still resonates today on this historic campus “neath the elms.”

Friday, April 15

 

Continuing events throughout the day include: Civil War Medical Corps presentation by the 108th Illinois Infantry; Civil War soldier and Civil War weaponry presentations by the 106th Illinois Infantry; blacksmithing demonstrations; tours on the half-hour for history walks/talks; living history character performances; interpretive exhibits and history kiosks; documentary film viewing; and Civil War era music.

 

9:00 a.m. – Opening Ceremony and Wreath Laying

10:00 a.m. – Lincoln’s Journey

11:00 a.m. – Recruiting Elm Commemoration Ceremony

12 noon. – Living History Theatre Performances

1:00 p.m. – Recitation of Names [Company G – 17th Illinois                  Infantry]

2:00 p.m. – Civil War Poetry Reading by Sigma Tau Delta                  members

3:00 p.m. – Musical Performance by the Eureka College                  Chorale

7:00 p.m. – “Captain Terry - Civil War Naval Officer”                  presentation by Edward Finch [location:

Becker Auditorium, Cerf College Center]

 

Saturday, April 16

 

Continuing events throughout the day include: Civil War Medical Corps presentation by the 108th Illinois Infantry; Civil War soldier and Civil War weaponry presentations by the 106th Illinois Infantry; blacksmithing demonstrations; tours on the half-hour for history walks/talks; living history character performances; interpretive exhibits and history kiosks; documentary film viewing; and Civil War era music.

 

8:00 a.m. – “Hardtack & Coffee” Breakfast

9:00 a.m. – Decoration of Graves at Olio Cemetery

10:00 a.m. –"Written in Stone? The Postwar Legacy of the                           Recruiting Elm,"  Dr. Brian Ingrassia,

                          Georgia State University [location: The Chapel]

11:00 a.m. – Performance by Central Illinois Civil War Dance                           Society Performers

12 noon. – Civil War Cavalry Presentation [10th Illinois                           Cavalry]

 

1:00 p.m. – Campus History Tours

 

2:00 p.m. – When This Cruel War is Over

 

3:00 p.m. – day’s events conclude

For more information contact:

 

Dr. Junius Rodriguez

Eureka College

300 East College Avenue

Eureka, Illinois 61530

 

(309) 467-6416

jrodrig@eureka.edu

 

History’s Lessons

 

 

DUTY

 

 

HONOR

 

 

COURAGE

 

 

SERVICE

 

 

LOYALTY

 

 

VALOR

 

 

PATRIOTISM

 

 

SELFLESSNESS

 

 

TENACITY

 

 

DISSENT

 

 

PERSEVERANCE

 

 

ENDURANCE

 

 

FAITH