Photo of Union Flags

Civil War Philadelphia Sesquicentennial Opening Event

Muster and Parade of United States Armed Forces, Philadelphia PA

For April 16, 2011

Further Information:
Laura Blanchard



Civil War History Consortium of Greater Philadelphia and Parade Partners. Also, Mayor Michael A. Nutter; living historians portraying President Abraham Lincoln and abolitionist Frederick Douglass, as well as civil rights activist Octavius V. Catto courtesy of Historic Philadelphia.


Civil War 150th Anniversary Commemoration procession and review of military and civilian re-enactors, representatives of present-day branches of service, marching bands followed by Living History demonstrations; gala period ball at the historic Union League of Philadelphia.


Saturday, April 16, 2011, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.


Start: National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street, 10:00 a.m.
Program: Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street, 10:45 a.m. (approx)
Parade end and living history demonstrations, Broad & Washington Street, Southwest Corner, 12:00-3:00
Civil War Ball, Union League of Philadelphia. Reservations required. 6-10 p.m.


On April 15, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for volunteers for the defense of the nation's capital following the Confederate firing on Fort Sumter. Philadelphia's citizens answered the call with enthusiasm and three days later its volunteer forces marched through the streets of the city to the Philadelphia Wilmington & Baltimore Passenger Depot at the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue. The parade will be followed by living history demonstrations by military and civilians.

The April 16, 2011 procession and review honors that response as well as the response of the citizens of Philadelphia and the surrounding communities to the needs of the Union during the four years of the war. Approximately 500 re-enactors representing Union troops from the entire war, including infantry, artillery, and cavalry will march from the National Constitution Center to Broad & Washington, accompanied by civilian re-enactors, representatives of the current armed services, and military  and university bands.

In addition to the pageantry and spectacle of period troops, banners, and mounted cavalry, this event will help to introduce many Philadelphians to the critical role the region played in the conflict, and the ways in which the Civil War provided both opportunities and wrenching dislocations to the civic life of the region.

The day will end with a gala Civil War ball at the Union League.



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