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Joseph G. Bilby to speak about New Jersey’s Black Civil War Soldiers

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 Cranford  See map

In recognition of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War and Black History Month, award-wining New Jersey historian Joseph G. Bilby will speak about New Jersey’s black Civil War soldiers at the Cranford Community Center, 220 Walnut Avenue, on Wednesday, February 8, at 7:30 p.m.

His lecture will be based on his recently published book, Freedom to All: New Jersey's African-American Civil War Soldiers.  The program will feature a PowerPoint slide show, including pictures of some of the Garden State's black soldiers and their training camp, as well as some of the battles in which they fought.  Mr. Bilby is the author or editor of some fifteen books about New Jersey and military history. He holds two history degrees, and he served as an officer in Vietnam. He is currently Assistant Curator of the National Guard Militia Museum in Sea Girt.  Mr. Bilby is also a member and publications editor of the New Jersey Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee.  Copies of his books will be available for purchase and for signing.

Admission is free and all are welcome. The program is sponsored by the Cranford Historical Society and the Cranford Public Library.

Steve February 08, 2012 at 02:16 PM
The photo is the flag of the 127th U.S. Colored Troops, the last black regiment in the area to be trained and fielded from Camp Wiilliam Penn, outside Philadelphia. The regiment's motto -- at the top of the banner -- poignantly reads, "We will prove ourselves men." Two future residents of Cranford served in the regiment. Unlike most white regiments, the 127th was not mustered out at the end of the Civil War, but sent to guard the Mexican border against a French-backed invasion along the Rio Grande, where many members of the segregated unit perished from heat and disease. Tonight's presentation will discuss the story of New Jersey's black heroes.

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