Relatives of Civil War soldiers tell ancestors’ real tales as part of 150th ‘Decoration Day’ Celebration

By Benjamin Cox on May 26, 2018 at 5:00pm

The Jacksonville Tales of Our Fathers presentations will be held  throughout this weekend to commemorate both the One Hundred Fiftieth anniversary of the first celebration of Decoration Day, now known as Memorial Day, as well as the contributions of Morgan County soldiers in the Civil War. All of these events are free of charge. Many of the people presenting are descendants of these soldiers.

The VFW Post 1379 on Morton Avenue will host both the beginning and end of today’s Tales of Our Fathers schedule. To start, Greg Olson will speak at the VFW at 2 p.m. to remember Lieutenant William English of the One Hundred First Illinois Infantry Regiment. Following Olson will be Kathy Wright Parker, who will offer a Powerpoint presentation titled: Captain John E. Wright: A Tale of Boots and Saddles.

The next two events will be held at Woodlawn Farm east of Jacksonville. At 4 p.m., Dr. Alonzo Ward, assistant professor of History at Illinois College, will speak for Corporal Robert Arbuckle, of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry. Also at Woodlawn Farm at 4:45, Terry Maggart will offer a tour of the Woodlawn Farm Underground Railroad Site.

At 7 p.m., event organizer Chuck Murphy will give a presentation at the VFW called “A Look Back at the Civil War Career of Veteran William J. Tiff on the Occasion of the 150th Memorial Day. To end the evening, Tarry Damrau will give a presentation at the VFW to  “Private Patricio Nunes: An Unexpected Civil War Story” at 7:45 p.m..