Last Wednesday was the second evening of the Civil War discussion, "Voices from the Civil War," focusing on first-hand accounts of the war.
Material for the discussion came from Life and History of the Rev. Elijah P. Marrs, First Pastor of Beargrass Baptist Church, and Author. As before, Dame Kghia Gherardi and Sir JJ Drinkwater led the discussion.
Mr. Marrs was a slave in Kentucky who ultimately became a minister. However, in 1864, as the Civil War was in its fourth year, he and 27 fellow slaves decided to join the Union army, making their way to a recruiting office in Louisville. Although he bridled at taking orders from white men in the army - seeing it as little different than taking such orders at home - he understood that this was part of a process that would ultimately gain him freedom.
Our group included a number of newcomers, including the gentleman to my right, a Mr. Stranger Nightfire, who seemed to be no stranger to the conflict, judging by his uniform.
We had a spirited discussion of Mr. Marrs, his account of his time at war (he never seemed to encounter a true battle, but he was on the fringes of the war at a time when the South was near defeat), the reasons he joined the Union army, and his motivations for writing down his memoirs.
I enjoy these sorts of events (and this one happens to be at the right time of day for me, a rarity!), which remind me of my misspent university days. I do feel quite ignorant of the subject, however, and therefore a bit shy about chiming in. (And yet a transcript would doubtless show me to be a blabbermouth, which just shows that my companions were even more shy!)
I have the next meeting in my calendar for October 26 at 4 p.m. SLT, and I have my homework in hand.