Lincoln meets with Union troops at Antietem during the Civil War.
Lincoln meets with Union troops at Antietem during the Civil War.

A program to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s assassination finds the perfect home on the steps of the Lanier Mansion tonight.

‘Peace and Tragedy: The End of the Civil War,’ will feature hundreds of luminaries covering the grounds of the home while Civil War-era music will be performed for guests. Volunteers Jim Terry, Joanne Spiller, Bob Hartsaw and Bill Johnson will read excerpts from diaries and memoirs of people such as generals Horace Porter and Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Hanover’s Marie Ester Brandt. War reports from The Madison Courier -- then known as The Madison Daily Courier -- will also be highlighted at the event.

Gerry Reilly, Lanier Mansion state historic site manager, said that although no battles were fought in the area, Jefferson county was very significant during that time. According to Reilly, for a town of its size, Madison had a very high percentage of men fighting in the war.

The event, sponsored by the Jefferson County Civil War Roundtable and Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, follows a similar event four years ago marking the beginning of the Civil War. Reilly, who is a member of the roundtable, said these historic moments are too important to ignore.

“The Civil War was by far the most traumatic even in American history. It should be honored,” he said.

The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the public.