The Oxford Historical Society will present Kevin Johnson as Private William Webb, an African-American Civil War soldier from Connecticut at the Oxford Grange Hall on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 1 p.m. The Grange Hall is located between the Oxford Center Firehouse and Oxford Center School on Route 67.
Admission to the event will be $5 for adults, and $2 for students, with a maximum cost of $10 per family. Proceeds will be used for continued restoration and preservation at the Society’s Twitchell-Rowland Homestead Museum.
Private Webb was an actual soldier, a native of Hartford. He was recruited in 1863 and served in the 29th(Colored) Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in several battles in Virginia under Oxford native Colonel William B. Wooster.
In July 1862, Congress authorized President Lincoln to use “persons of African descent” in military service. The Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1, 1863, sanctioned their enlistment.
Johnson’s presentation of Webb is told from an emotional and exciting first-person perspective that vividly illustrates the struggle of African-Americans in the Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He speaks of his early life in Hartford, his recruitment and training and the traumatic final battles of the War. The presentation is based on extensive research in the collections of the Connecticut State Library and the Museum of Connecticut History.
Further information about the program is available by calling Nancy Farnum at (203) 888-0230.