Sixty suspicious-looking men had arrived in Chicago. They carried no baggage. They wore odd clothing and spoke with strange accents. Our security forces had been notified of their presence. The strangers were being closely watched.
Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war between the Buddhist Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority left more than 70,000 dead. Both sides committed atrocities, but the final months of the conflict in 2009 were especially brutal.
Of the 900 men who mustered into the 95th Illinois Infantry in 1862, only 153 were still in the regiment by the end of the Civil War. Albert Cashier was one of them. And that’s historic - because Albert was a woman. He was born Jennie Hodgers on Christmas Day of 1843, in Clogher Head, Ireland.
A piece of Civil War history has made its way to Springfield. An original flag that was carried during Civil War campaigns by a regiment from northern Illinois is on display at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site.
This year marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. Many are marking the occasion. But Chicago’s City Lit Theater may put other plans to shame. The company plans to stage a Civil War-themed production every April, until the year 2015.