By Peter Suciu
This year is notable for many milestones – the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. April 9 marked the 150th anniversary of General Lee’s surrender to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, so it was fitting that just a week later Zurko’s Midwest Promotions held its one day Chicagoland’s National Civil War & Military Extravaganza at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.
The 100+ tables featured a 70 percent split of Civil War through Spanish American War items, and for collectors of this era it was a show that didn’t disappoint.
“We were totally sold out,” said Bob Zurko, promoter of the semi-annual event, who added that the show continued to be vetted for quality and authenticity and it was apparent in what was on display. “We’ve been doing this show for more than a decade and will do it as long as we can.”
Among some of the truly stand out items on display at the show was a 42mm Hotchkiss field gun, which was introduced as a modern replacement for the aging twelve-pound mountain howitzer. This particular gun was reportedly used at the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890, while the model Hotchkiss gun also saw use during the Spanish-American War – notably during the attack on San Juan Hill in Cuba.
Attendees could also take in headdress, uniforms and field gear from the Civil War through World War II. It was a special show, and Zurko reminded us that the next one will be held September 19th back at the DuPage County Fairgrounds.