America is observing the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War this year.
More than 2,000 soldiers from Macon County fought for the Union. There's a Civil War burial section in Greenwood Cemetery. "Voices of the Past," a walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery, will focus on those Civil War stories.
Presented by Decatur Township and sponsored by the R.V. Evans family, tour performances by re-enactors will be Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2.
Featured will be a Civil War physician, a Civil War clergyman, a Civil War nurse, Civil War officers and soldiers and two Medal of Honor recipients.
Lynn Potter and Claudia Williams have lined up a number of helpers in an endeavor ongoing since spring. "Through this tour, we are hoping to raise awareness of the cemetery as a tourist destination and a place the people of Decatur can visit and be proud of," Potter said.
"Many in our city don't know what a treasure Decatur has in this cemetery. Decatur Township was appointed by the courts in 1957 to take over operation of the cemetery from the defunct Cemetery Association. At this time, the township has few dollars to maintain, let alone improve, the appearance of the grounds, repair the headstones and repair the roads."
Greenwood Cemetery dates from 1840. In the late 1850s, the cemetery was developed into a garden burial ground. Until the 1920s, Greenwood was "the" place to be buried. Prominent Decatur families built ornate family mausoleums and monuments. Historic Decatur figures are buried there - James Millikin, the Mueller family, Orlando Powers, Jane Johns - along with 30,000 others.
From 1997 through 2001, the Heritage Network of Decatur and Macon County put on a Greenwood Cemetery tour with research by Lee Slider, the retired cultural interpreter for the Macon County Conservation District. Slider is also helping with this one.
The "Voices of the Past sites:
* Maj. George Steele: Actor, Kevin Johnston, Researchers, Dick Fiala and Carol Barnes. Script writer, Kelly Wingard,
* Tupper Brothers, Ansel and Nathan: Actors, Chuck Shonkwiler and Jim Goatley, Researchers, Cheri Hunter and Nancy Sheppard, Script writer, Dan Guillory
* The Rev. William Crissey and Dr. Ira N. Barnes: Actors, Bill Horton (Crissey) and Jeff Hendricks (Barnes). Researchers, Mark Sorenson and Brent Wielt. Script writer, Kelly Wingard.
* Mary Winegardner, nurse: Actor, Jody Byers. Researcher, Nancy Sheppard. Script writer, Jody Byers.
* Civil War Sites: Researcher, Evelyn Hood. Script writer, Billy Tyus
* Medal of Honor Awardees, Holland and Schenck: Actor, Lonn Pressnall. Researcher, Brent Wielt. Script writer, Lonn Pressnall.
* Gen. Jesse Moore: Actor, John Arnold. Researcher, Brent Wielt. Script writer, John Arnold. There is a memorial window dedicated to Moore in Room 309, First United Methodist Church. Before the war, he was a minister in the church.
* Sheridan Wait: Actor, Dick Torgerson. Researcher, Brent Wielt. Script writer, Paula Cross.