When Sauk City's Civil War Weekend event kicks off June 19, event organizers said it will be one of the first times in the event's history that all the elements have come together.

Connie Konkle, chair of the Sauk City Historic Preservation Committee and one of the event's organizers, said that this year more Civil War re-enactors will participate in the skirmishes, there will be horse and carriage rides and Abraham Lincoln finally will make an appearance.

"We've been trying to get Bill Been for years," Konkle said.

William Been, a local farmer and teaching assistant at Sauk Prairie High School, has been impersonating Lincoln for six years. The first time he did it was when he walked in Witwen's Fourth of July parade.

"That's primarily what I do, I just walk parades and use my appearance," Been said.

However, during the two-day Civil War event at August Derleth Park, Been will recite Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address.

"That's the most difficult part I have, in the few things I've done where I've needed to give a speech," Been said. "What was Lincoln's voice? What were his actions? He's portrayed as stolid man, a serious man, but if you read about him he loved to tell stories and jokes."

To get in character, Been said he will try to imagine Lincoln's state of mind in 1963.

"I will just try and reflect that solemn," Been said. "That speech was given in a time when it was really quite dark, he lost his son and the war was raging and the Gettysburg battle was the bloodiest in history."

Been said this will be the first time he's appeared as Lincoln at a Civil War re-enactment.

"The last thing I want to cause him is disrespect, because I do have the greatest amount of respect for him," Been said.

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