History comes to life when actors re-enact historical figures buried at the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery, 1831 W. Washington Blvd., on Sat., Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
West Adams Heritage Association’s “A Gathering of the Blue and the Gray, Civil War: Beyond the Battlefield” commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The 24th annual living history tour takes us back to the conflict, which began on April 12, 1861, when the Confederates attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. It ended on April 9, 1865 when Robert E. Lee surrendered just a few days before President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination.
Visitors will “meet” a variety of Civil War era personages, including two who fought at Gettysburg, a Civil War “Florence Nightingale,” a former slave who served as a Union chaplain, and a flamboyant Wild West pioneer.
One of this year’s personages became a well-known thespian; another founded a major oil company, a Christian college, and the Union Rescue Mission, all of which survive to this day; and a third became acting governor of Missouri.
A Confederate general killed at Shiloh left behind in Los Angeles his children and his widow, and visitors will also meet the female cousins of President Abraham Lincoln, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
This year’s portrayals include:
• Mary Davis Flournoy, the widow of Confederate Col. Robert Flournoy and cousin of Jefferson Davis, and Lina (Salina Catherine Hall) Carlisle, cousin to Abraham Lincoln and widow of Union veteran William Carlisle;
• Col. Allen Allensworth, who was born into slavery in 1842 in Louisville, Ky., escaped during the Civil War and joined the Union Army, later serving as a military chaplain; in retirement Allensworth founded a self-named town designed specifically for African-Americans where they could live free of political and social persecution;
• Margaret Meseroll Hayes, who was a “ministering angel” to wounded and dying Union soldiers at a Tennessee hospital, and who eventually became the last living Civil War nurse, dying at age 101 in 1934;
• Lyman Stewart, a tanner’s apprentice and would-be religious missionary who joined the Pennsylvania Cavalry and fought at Gettysburg; after the war, he became an oil wildcatter who founded Union Oil, and then used his wealth to establish the “Jesus Saves” BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles) College and the Union Rescue Mission;
• Louis F. Gottschalk, who was a Missouri lawyer, judge and legislator who fought on the Union side and later served as the state’s Acting Governor before moving West; while in Los Angeles he was appointed by President Harrison as American Consul to Stuttgart;
• Eliza Griffin Johnston, the widow of one of the most famed Confederate Generals, Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston, who died at the battle of Shiloh;
• Clay Beauford/Welford Chapman Bridwell—Bridwell changed his name to Beauford and joined the Confederacy at age 14 as a drummer boy (he didn’t want his parents to find him). As Beauford, he later joined the U.S. Army to fight in the Indian Wars, and received the Medal of Honor. He helped capture Geronimo and became a colorful legislator in Arizona; and
• Harry Duffield, an actor who made his first footlight bow at age 12, but a year later ran away from home to become a Confederate drummer boy; after the war, he spent a lifetime in the theater, eventually settling in Los Angeles as an actor on the screen (“Rio Grande).
Advance ticket sales only; $30 in advance, paid by Sept. 10. $35 after that or on day of tour, space permitting. Children under 10 attend free.
Tours depart approximately every 25 minutes, beginning at 9 a.m., with the last tour departing at noon. The three-hour docent-led walk is over uneven terrain; visitors are advised to wear appropriate clothing and walking shoes.
For tickets and information, visit WestAdamsHeritage.org, call 323-735-WAHA or email firstname.lastname@example.org.