Downtown Des Moines may look like it’s being haunted tonight by a battalion of Civil War soldiers and their wives. They’re real live people on their way to dinner to benefit the state’s million-dollar effort to stabilize a group of 260-some Civil War battle flags carried by Iowans. Proceeds from the dinner go to the restoration effort. Jerome Thompson is museum director at the State Historical Building, which is hosting tonight’s dinner. An exhibit opened last night at the building entitled “Honor the Colors: Iowa’s Civil War Battle Flags.” The menu for tonight’s dinner features unusual food, all of it cooked based upon recipes from the 1850s through the 1870s.Thompson expects about 150 guests for tonight’s dinner, many of whom will be dressing in period costumes. Civil War reinactors in the group are expected to be in full dress uniforms with swords. He says the culinary offerings will be appropriate, including ham simmered in wine broth, baked beans, cabbage slaw and corn bread. Deserts on the menu include a raisin-lemon filling served with tarts and a molasses-spice cake with bourbon. Music will be provided by the Marengo Civil War Band and the Jasper Grays Civil War Singers.
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