Redding Professor To Lead Easton Lecture On Civil War

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Connecticut's 29th Regiment was one of the all-black units from the state to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, and will be the focus of a talk in Easton Saturday. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

EASTON, Conn. – Redding history expert David Koch will lead a special lecture in Easton on Saturday in honor of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Koch is an associate history professor at Bridgeport’s Housatonic Community College, specializing in Civil War and Native American history. He has previously given lectures on such topics as Abraham Lincoln’s policies, the lives of slaves and Connecticut’s role in the Civil War.

Saturday’s program will focus on the Union Army’s 29th and 30th Regiments, which were raised in Connecticut. The all-black regiments were among the 200,000 African Americans who served in the Union Army during the war to fight for the cause of freeing slaves in the Confederacy.

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the 4 million slaves in the Confederacy in 1863. But Koch’s lecture will describe to difficult road Lincoln and black soldiers faced.

Koch, a Redding resident, has been touring libraries and educational venues for the past few years, giving lectures on the Civil War’s 150th anniversaries, which run from 2011 to 2015. He told Housatonic student Sam Rosoff he does as many as 45 lectures per year on various subjects.

“When people find out that you’re timely and your audiences like you, they love to bring you back,” Koch told Rossof for a Housatonic Community College statement. “So everything that I’m doing now is repeat work.”

Koch was asked by the Historical Society of Easton to give a talk in February, but the event was rescheduled because of a blizzard. He will now speak April 6 starting at 2 p.m. at the Easton Public Library, 691 Morehouse Road. The event is free, but the Historical Society accepts donations to continue its work. For more information, visit the group’s website.

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