Back to All Events

Investigating St. Charles’ Civil War Connections Through Forensic Science

  • St. Charles History Museum 215 East Main Street St. Charles, IL, 60174 United States (map)
Rich Becker

Rich Becker

In this three-part lecture and field work series, Civil War researcher and former crime scene investigator Rich Becker will explain how he used forensic science to shed new light on St. Charles’ Civil War connections, and how forensic science can be used to investigate historical photographs.

During the mid-1800s, St. Charles was the site of Camp Kane (Present-day Langum Park), led by Civil War General John Farnsworth. The legendary 8th Illinois Cavalry, which fired the first shots at the Battle of Gettysburg and served as members of President Abraham Lincoln’s Honor Guard at his funeral, trained at this location up until the mid-1860s.

Guests are invited to attend either or both sessions. Admission for either night session includes admission to the field demonstration.

Cost: $5 members, $10 non-members per session

Night One: Wednesday, October 9 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Night one will include a brief history of the 8th Illinois Calvary Regiment, as well as the basic foundations of forensic investigation and how it ties into the investigation of historic photographs.

Purchase Tickets

Night Two: Wednesday, October 16 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Night two will delve into the analysis of historical photographs from the St. Charles History Museum archives that establish the true breadth of Camp Kane, a place where many soldiers would set foot on Illinois soil for the final time before heading off to war.

Purchase Tickets

Field Demonstration: Saturday, October 19 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at Langum Park

The series will conclude with an actual investigation in the field, where participants will draw upon techniques learned the prior two days to assist the Museum in recovery of additional artifacts to analyze. 

Tickets must be purchased for either night one or night two for admission to the field demonstration.