Voices from the Past
United States Colored Troops in the Civil War
Bring an engaging living history presentation
by master storyteller Willis Phelps to your school or community
group. Mr. Phelps portrays Private James Elbert, a Civil War USCT
soldier buried at Polktown’s African Union Church Cemetery.
Voices of the Past shares the
story of the once-forgotten cemetery and the local United States
Colored Troops buried there. Living historian and storyteller Willis
Phelps brings to life Private James Elbert, who served with the
USCT during the Civil War and was nearly executed for desertion
only to be found innocent.
Accompanied by a facilitator that sets the
stage for his presentation, the program is tailored for school children
or the general public. The student version includes hands-on experience
with archival documents that help to piece together the story of
these men and the cemetery, and teachers are also provided post-visit
classroom activities facilitating actual use of the historic documents
on a sort of ‘history scavenger hunt’. !
The program is appropriate for and available
to both schools and community groups and is funded courtesy of State
of Delaware Grant in Aid. Reviews of the program are outstanding
and it is a unique opportunity to see ‘where history comes from’
by being able to actually handle copies of 19th century military
records, pension records and the like.
The presentation lasts approximately an hour
and can be tailored to all ages, facilities, and group sizes. School
presentations include links to pre-and post-presentation activities
as well as relevance to state education standards.
This program is generously funded through
State of Delaware Grant-in-Aid, though donations of all sizes are
Does your group want to present our program?
Are you interested in presenting this program
to your group?
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