Pvt. Elbert of the USCT, Tales Tombstones Whisper, and Vietnam Mailbag Featured in 2012-13 Speakers Series

Private Elbert

With the approach of cool autumn weather, it’s time to announce the return of the Society’s 2012-13 speakers’ series.  Beginning in the middle of fall and stretching all the way through the cold months of winter, the Society hosts a series of lively, engaging speakers on topics ranging from practical research methods to fresh lectures that have broad appeal.  The programs take place on the first Saturday of each month at 2:00 p.m. at the Society’s library at 135 E. Main Street in Elkton.

This year, we will finish off 2012 with two subjects, Tales the Tombstones Whisper and a living history presentation by Private James H. Elbert of the United States Colored Troops.

Tales the Tombstones Whisper, a lecture by Mike Dixon, takes place on Nov. 3 at 2:00 p.m.  It traces the evolution of graveyards, explores fascinating tales tombstones whisper, considers interesting epitaphs, and discusses changing practices and customs.  Throughout this lecture tips on how to use a visit to an old burial ground to understand and trace local and family history is considered.  Weather permitting the group will stroll over to a local cemetery after the talk for some outdoor, applied learning.

The living history presentation by Willis Phelps, Jr. portrays Private James H. Elbert of the United States Colored Troops (USCT).  It takes place on Dec. 2 at 2:00 p.m.  The Civil War soldier will share the story of African-Americans rallying to the colors as they fought for freedom.  It will all be told through the eyes of Private James H. Elbert, one of the soldiers, as we hear stories about the struggles.  If you haven’t seen the performance before, you won’t want to miss this lively program.  Willis does living history interpretations at Fort Delaware, for the Delaware Humanities Forum and he has lectured at local universities.

All talks are designed to be informative and enjoyable while concentrating on fresh, broadly engaging topics or subjects that help with their research.  Watch for upcoming announcements for the first part of 2013 associated with topics such as Vietnam Mailbag and more.

—Private Cyrus T. Wesley of the USCT is buried at Griffith’s AUMP in Cedar Hill, just outside Pleasant Hill.

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