FISHERS, Ind. (Dec. 1, 2010) – Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, announces its newest exhibit, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana, to open June 2011. This exhibit integrates technology with Conner Prairie’s legendary first-person interpretation in an outdoor setting to create a new kind of guest experience focused on personal stories during the Civil War in Indiana.
This $4.3 million exhibit will open to the public on June 4, 2011 and tell the story of Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s cavalry raid through Indiana during July 1863. It will use projected images and video along with theatrical sound and staging, hands-on experiences, and live action to bring the drama of Civil War Indiana to life. 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana utilizes a unique blend of interpretive technologies and techniques to immerse guests in a pivotal moment in Indiana history, as Hoosiers respond to Morgan’s Raid through southern Indiana. Guests will take on the role of civilian volunteers from Indianapolis sent south to defend the state from the Rebel raiders.
“Recognized as one of the leading and innovative living history museums in the nation, we constantly challenge ourselves to find new ways to connect and engage with our guests,” says Conner Prairie President and CEO Ellen M. Rosenthal. “This is our first exhibit that will fully combine the artistry and magic of technology with the authenticity and warmth of our interpreters dressed in authentic period costumes.”
This new project will serve an intergenerational audience and will encourage self-led exploration. This includes an inventive and interactive area designed specifically for families with young children as well as offerings for older children and adults. Construction on the project began in July 2010. The project is scheduled to open on June 4, 2011, the year which marks the 150th commemoration of the beginning of the Civil War. 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana is being funded through a capital campaign and will cost a total of $4.3 million. To date, $2,132,631 million has been raised. The Conner Prairie Museum Board of Directors has collectively contributed $847,631. The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation contributed a lead gift of $500,000. “Allen Clowes’ involvement with Conner Prairie extended more than two decades,” stated William H. Marshall, president of the charitable foundation. “He was generous with both his time, as an involved board member and frequent visitor, and financially. The Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation is pleased to continue this tradition by supporting the 1863 Civil War Journey at Conner Prairie.” Guests will not pay an additional fee to experience 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
Story of Morgan’s Raid
On July 8, 1863, Hoosier militia companies and civilian volunteers rallied to defend Indiana from 2,400 invading Confederate soldiers under the command of Gen. John Hunt Morgan. After Hoosier forces were defeated by Rebel Raiders at the Battle of Corydon on July 9, an estimated 60,000 volunteers responded to Gov. Morton’s call to muster in Indianapolis. Morgan’s advance north was blocked near Vernon two days later as some of those volunteers arrived in southern Indiana from the state capital by railroad. By felling trees across roads and through armed resistance, Indiana volunteers and pursuing Union cavalry chased the Confederates into Ohio. Morgan and his troops were eventually defeated and captured by Union troops in eastern Ohio.
For high-resolution, downloadable images of Conner Prairie’s 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana exhibit click here.
B roll available upon request.
Download a pdf of this press release
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, created by Eli Lilly in 1934, is Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate and a 2010 Institute of Museum and Library Services National medal award recipient. Families of today engage, explore and discover what it was like to live and play in Indiana’s past. Explore five themed historic areas on 200 beautiful, wooded acres including the newest exhibits, 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana and 1859 Balloon Voyage that takes guests 350 feet above the prairie in a tethered helium balloon. Every visit is a unique adventure that provides an authentic look into the history that shapes us today. Visit connerprairie.org or call 317.776.6006 or 800.966.1836 for admission dates, hours and ticket prices. Connect with Conner Prairie on Facebook at facebook.com/connerprairie, Flickr at flickr.com/people/connerprairie, YouTube at youtube.com/user/ConnerPrairie and Twitter at twitter.com/connerprairie.
Media Contact: Alpha Garrett, Public Relations Manager office 317.214.4732 cell 317.607.4483 firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Illustration of covered bridge entrance to 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana
2. Illustration of outdoor family play and learning area of 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana
3. Civil War reenactors from throughout the Midwest portrayed Morgan's Raiders during the creation of Conner Prairie's new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
4. Building a barricade to stop Morgan's Raiders south of Corydon, Indiana is recreated as part of an immersive theater experience in the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
5. Filmmakers capture the action of Union cavalry pursuing Morgan's Raiders for Conner Prairie's new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
6. Hoosier volunteers defend the town of Corydon, Indiana from invading Confederate cavalry in a dramatic segment of Conner Prairie's new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana.
7. Civil War reenactors portray a terrified woman and children of southern Indiana as Morgan’s Confederate troops raid their villages and farms in July 1863.
8. General John Hunt Morgan
In July 1863, Confederate General John Hunt Morgan led 2,400 battle-hardened troops on a raid into Indiana. How will Hoosiers respond to this threat? Conner Prairie guests will find themselves facing down Morgan and his Raiders as part of the new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana exhibit.
9. Attia Porter
The letters written by 16-year-old Attia Porter of Corydon, Indiana provide insight to the lives of young southernIndiana residents at the time of General Morgan’s Confederate cavalry raid into the Hoosier state in July 1863. Guests will encounter Attia’s true life story as they make their way through the new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana exhibit.
10. Albert Cheatham
Albert’s quest for freedom, and his desire to fight for that freedom, plays a significant role in Conner Prairie’s new 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana exhibit.
Download high-resolution photos here.
1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana
When will the new project open?
The project is scheduled to open June 4, 2011.
Will the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana be a permanent exhibit?
This exhibit is located in an area that depicts a new time period approximately every 5 years. If demand warrants, the life of the exhibit can be extended.
Will there be an additional fee to experience the 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana?
No. The cost is part of Conner Prairie’s daily general admission and is free to members.
Will 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana be open year round?
No. It will be open from June 4-October 31, 2011. It will reopen in following years (April – October) for the life of the exhibit.
How much square footage does it cover?
The exhibit covers 8,880 square feet in an outdoor setting with several buildings.
What is the technology aspect to the project?
It will use projected images and video along with theatrical sound and staging, hands-on experiences and live action to bring the drama of Civil War Indiana to life.
How much is being spent to develop and construct this project?
1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana is being funded through a capital campaign and will cost a total of $4.3 million.
How old do you have to be to go through the exhibit?
The exhibit has something for every age and interest from the self-led journey about Morgan’s Raid on Indiana to a family play area designed for children ages 2 to 10, including an indoor climbing area and outdoor water play area.
How many people can the new exhibit accommodate?
The exhibit has many components and can accommodate approximately 1200-1500 people each day.
How long does it take to go through the entire exhibit?
The self-led journey about Morgan’s Raid on Indiana takes approximately 45-60 minutes. There are also several other selfdirected experiences in the exhibit too, and the total time depends on the guests desired pace.
Is the exhibit based on a true story?
Yes. It is based on the true story of how Hoosiers responded to Morgan’s 1863 raid into Indiana. Each of the main characters in the exhibit are based on real people who lived in Indiana during the Civil War when Morgan’s Raiders invaded the state.
How does this project fit the vision of Conner Prairie?
Guided by its mission to stimulate curiosity about the history of Indiana in ways that are interesting and unique, Conner Prairie is grounded in innovation and continuously evolving its outdoor and indoor experiences to engage guests of all ages and learning styles. Conner Prairie will supplement the core of the existing experience by incorporating 1863 Civil War Journey: Raid on Indiana as the second step in its strategic master plan. Conner Prairie opened 1859 Balloon Voyage the summer of 2009.
Is it handicap accessible?
Yes, the main exhibit components are handicap accessible.