Ron Kirchgessner portrays Major Richard Conover, Surgeon for the 108th Illinois.
Major Conover served in the Civil War from August 28, 1862 until August 5, 1865. He was a native of Eureka, IL. Vickie Kirchgessner, Ron’s wife, portrays Mrs. Conover. Sgt. Major MacGregor, their Yorkie-Poo, was the field hospital mascot until his passing in 2015. Yogi, a yorkie mix adopted in 2016, is now the acting mascot for the 108th. Ron and Vickie participate in both local and national reenactments, parades, and visits to local schools.
Ron is a former Emergency Medical Technician, serving in that position for 25 years until 2007. Ron has appeared in the newspapers, on a news broadcast, and in a Sand Prairie Production movie. He is a member of the Society of Civil War Surgeons, the Sons of Union Veterans, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, the Gettysburg Foundation, the Springfield Lincoln Museum, friends of the GAR, the American Legion, the Boy Scouts of America, a Mason in three lodges and belongs to the Scottish Rite. Ron is also a speaker, delivering lectures on the history of Civil War Medicine.
Other members include Dan Dickerson as a Lieutenant/Clerk, Rose Dickerson doing civilian impressions, Amy Barger as Clara Barton with her two daughters Katie and Kylee, and Bill Huber in the rank of Captain and Assistant Surgeon. Nona Huber plays the Dulcimer and does Daughters of Charity impression. Richard Kirchgessner portrays a Sergeant and Ambulance Attendant.
Richard Ashton Conver was born in Morgan County, Illinois on December 28, 1831.
After receiving his literary education in Eureka, Illinois, Dr. Conover began the study of medicine under Dr. R.B.M. Wilson of Washington, Illinois. He married his wife, Miss Sarah Fisher of Tazewell County, Illinois on October 3rd, 1854 and graduated from St. Louis Medical College in 1858. After graduation, he taught one year in the preparatory department of Walnut Grove Academy.
Dr. Conover practiced medicine in Eureka clear up until the start of the Civil War, when, in 1862, he entered the service as Assitant Surgeon for the 108th Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry. One year after enlisting, he was promoted to Surgeon and served in that position until the war was almost over.
After leaving, Dr. Conover moved his family to Peculiar, Cass County, Missouri in 1868 and continued in the medical profession for sixteen years. By the time of his death on February 15, 1886 due to heart disease, Dr. Conover had become president of the Medical Association of Kansas.
|May 4-5, 2019||Reenactment||Morton, IL (Southwood Park)|
|June 28-29, 2019||Heritage Days||Macomb, IL|
|August 3-3, 2019||Wheels of Time Museum||Peoria, IL|
|August 11-12, 2019||Illinois State Fair||Springfield, IL|
|August 17-18, 2019||Heritage Days||Galesburg, IL (Lake Storey)|
|September 21-22, 2019||Lincoln Railsplitter Days||Lincoln, IL|
|October 12-13, 2019||Shadows of the Blue and Gray||Princeton, IL|
The bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861 and the following surrender on April 14, 1861 was the actual start of the Civil War.
Did you know?
The first federal income tax was levied in 1862 to help finance the war.
The average age of Union soldiers at time of enlistment was 25.8 years old.
In 1861, a private in the Union army earned $13 a month. A Union brigadier general received $315 a month.
Approximately one of every four Union soldiers was born outside the United States. Of immigrants who served, Germans formed the largest group, followed by the Irish.
The only civilian casualty of the Battle of Gettysburg was a young woman named Mary Virginia “Jennie” Wade, who was shot and killed by an errant bullet while making bread in her sister’s house.
Albert Woolson, the last recognized surviving Union soldier, died in 1956.
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