POMEROY — Civil War Reenactors Fred and Jacquelyn Smith of Youngstown will be the speakers at the annual Memorial Day observance to be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Civil War Monument on the Meigs County Courthouse Lawn
The event is annually staged by Brooks-Grant Camp of the Sons of Union Soldiers and the Major Daniel McCook Circle 1804 of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
The Smiths will include in their talk, the works of Negro Poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 to 1906) who is credited with being the first American Negro to show the high poetic quality of his people.
Coming from Dayton where he attended high school, his first job was as an elevator operator. His first two books of poetry were “Oak and Ivory,” published in 1893 and the second, “Majors and Minors,” published in 1895. His third book which was said to have received high praise was “Lyrics of Lowly Life,” published in 1896.
Dunbar is said to have frequent readings from his works, most of which were done in dialect and treated Negro life with humor and pathos. Dunbar also wrote four novels, including “The Fanatics.”
Saturday’s program is sure to be a reminder of last year’s speaker, Doug McCabe, director of manuscripts at the Mihn Center of Archives and Special Collections at Ohio University, who talked on the twoMeigs County African American men who were recruited to serve in the first colored unit representing Ohio in the Civil War.
They were William Bentley, a native of Meigs County and Edward Courtney, a native of Virginia but a resident of Meigs County, who enlisted on June 22, 1863 into that first African American unit being organized by Milton Hollow of Athens County, a former slave. Both of the Meigs County men were injured in the war but both survived.
Having the service at the statue on the Courthouse lawn, erected in 1870, comes as a special tribute during this Civil War sesquicentennial observance in remembrance of the 506 Meigs Countians who died in that war.