ST. PARIS – The Civil War was the catalyst of significant social and economic change in Champaign County. One in eight county citizens, from all 12 townships, joined the Federal Army and participated in the great struggle. A total of 578 Champaign County soldiers died for the Union during the Civil War.
After the war, the veterans founded multiple Posts of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) and the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS). These veterans organizations routinely sponsored outdoor concerts for the entertainment of the county citizens.
On Sunday, Aug. 20, at 6 p.m., the Champaign County Arts Council will present the music of the Civil War at Harmon Memorial Park in St. Paris. The free concert features the 73rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Band. This band is known throughout the USA as one of the few historic bands that play authentic 150-year-old instruments and use original Civil War-era musical compositions.
The GAR ceased to exist in the 1950s when the last members passed on. However, the MOLLUS is still active, and the Commander for the State of Ohio, Col. Robert Pollock, USAF (ret), is a resident of Urbana.
“MOLLUS is very appreciative that the Champaign County Arts Council has selected the 73rd Regimental Band to perform the final concert of their 2017 summer season,” Pollock said. “The band’s music and styling is unique, and I hope the public will enjoy this Sunday’s concert in St. Paris.”
MOLLUS and the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War will have information tables at the Arts Council concert in St. Paris.
Residents of Champaign County can learn more about the county’s role in the Civil War by visiting the Champaign County Historical Society Museum at 809 East Lawn Ave., Urbana; and by visiting the local history room at the Champaign County Library and the Genealogy/History room at the St Paris Public Library.
Submitted by Col. Robert Pollock, USAF (ret), an Urbana resident and the MOLLUS Commander for the State of Ohio.