Library DrawingThe CONNector

April 2002Volume 4 Number 2

"The Life and Times of William Webb: An African-American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut."

Richard C. Roberts, Unit Head, History amd Genealogy

Image of Kevin Johnson dressed as William Webb on a poster for the bus shelter.
Kevin Johnson as Private William Webb is featured on one of two posters in the bus shelter outside the State Library.

As a tribute to the more than 1,700 African Americans from Connecticut who served during the Civil War, Kevin Johnson of the State Library's History and Genealogy Unit spent much of February, Black History Month, performing at libraries, schools, historical societies, church groups, and other non-profit organizations across the state. His performances included: February 3, First Congregational Church, Windsor; Feb. 5, Park Street Branch Library; February 7, Noah Webster School, Hartford; Feb. 8 and 20, Sub Base, Groton; February 13, Vernon Middle School; February 21, Blue Hills Branch Library; February 23, Liberty Christian Church; February 28, Farmington Public Library.

Private Webb was an actual soldier who was a native of Hartford. He was recruited in 1863 and served in the Twenty-Ninth (Colored) Regiment, Connecticut Volunteer Infantry in several battles in Virginia. Johnson's presentation of Webb is told from an emotional and exciting first-person perspective that vividly illustrates the struggle of the African-Americans in the Colored Infantry during the Civil War. He tells of his early life in Hartford, his recruitment and training, and the traumatic final battles of the Civil War. The presentation is based on extensive research in the collections of the Connecticut State Library and the Museum of Connecticut History.

For information on booking a performance for your organization, please contact Kevin Johnson, (860) 757-6589 or Carolyn Picciano, (860) 757-6580.

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