Abraham Lincoln went through hell and high water trying to find a commanding Union general-in-chief who was neither incompetent nor insubordinate (George B. McLellan, the worst of the lot, was both -- plus vain and arrogant). Finally in 1864, three grueling years into the Civil War, Lincoln picked the right man: Ulysses S. Grant. Both Midwesterners, both sharing a similar temperament and perhaps even some of the same demons, the president and the military man had an unspoken understanding of and respect for one another. "Lincoln Visits White Haven" recreates this rare synergy. White Haven was Grant's country home outside St. Louis (today of course it's within St. Louis); in this free program Lincoln re-enactor Fritz Klein portrays the president paying a fictional visit to his top general's estate. "Lincoln" (Kleincoln?) will ponder U.S. Grant and the future of our war-torn country from 1863's vantage point -- back then, it was anybody's guess if we had any future, period. Following the presentation there will be a Q&A with Klein. White Haven is part of the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site (7400 Grant Road, Sappington; 314-842-1867 or www.nps.gov/ulsg), where the event starts at 1 p.m. Reservations are required, but admission is free.
Sat., Feb. 23, 2013