I presented a talk about African American Faces of the Civil War at the Polk County Historical Association in Columbus, N.C., on Tuesday. I had a great time thanks to PCHS president Anna Conner, who made all the arrangements, and Al Creasy, who made sure the projector was up and running. (It was!)
This was a homecoming for me. My mother Carol has lived in the area for 35 years. She and my brother Gary and sister-in-law Wendy came out, and I did not heckle me off the podium! Also in attendance was my great friend Allan Pruette, who came with a folder full of clips of my work from my days at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and elsewhere.
I met a number of local folks, including Craig, Garrett, and the venerable James Payne. Thanks to all for attending.
I truly enjoyed my visit, and having the opportunity to share the stories and photos of these men who participated in the Civil War. Book sales were strong, and I appreciate the support.
The talk was captured on video, and will be available on CD for members to borrow from the PCHS library. Kudos to the association for making this service available. Anna pointed out several of the videos that were oral histories of now-deceased citizens of the county.
Fun fact: Polk County is not named for the eleventh president, but William Polk, a Revolutionary War colonel who survived Valley Forge and participated in numerous engagements with Washington’s army.