The Trials of Tobias Trout: African Americans in the Civil War-A Historical Re-enactment on Wednesday, February 28 at 6:30 p.m.

This dramatic re-enactment by Al Terry focuses on the experiences of an escaped slave who makes his way north and later enlists in the Union army during the American Civil War.

In the words of the character, Toby Trout:

“My wife begged me not to sign up. Yet, how could I live free in good conscience with my fellow Negros in chains?” “The Union guns and the Confederate guns opened up all along the line. Iron comes whistling at us in all directions! Shrieking and whistling! Smoke so thick we can’t even see.” “I would try to escape, if I thought I had a chance. I can only pray to God for my salvation!”

There are intense moments of hand-to-hand combat as Toby takes you deep into the Battle of the Crater. The Battle of the Crater took place as part of the Siege of Petersburg on July 30, 1864, between the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, commanded by General Robert E. Lee and the Union Army of the Potomac, commanded by Maj. Gen. George G. Meade

The actual soldier, Tobias Trout was born in Oxford, NC and enlisted for service in New Haven, CT. He filled one of Guilford’s draft quotas during the Civil War. He served with the 31st U.S. Colored Troops, Co. C. During the mine explosion at Petersburg, VA, July 30, 1864, he was wounded and treated at L’Oveverture Hospital, Alexandria, VA, a hospital for African American soldiers. He died from gangrene of the lungs on April 15, 1865, the same day as President Lincoln. He was 35 years old at the time of his death.  From The Guilford Keeping Society Archives

Actor Al Terry lives in Windsor, CT. He served 8 years in the United States Navy and worked for over 30 involving military contracts. As an actor, he has over 17 years of experience on stages throughout the state of Connecticut and surrounding areas, performing a wide range of roles – from the intensity of Othello to the musical notes of Oliver. He brings a unique perspective to this production. This special theatrical event is being held in celebration of Black History Month. It is free and open to everyone Seating is limited, so please call and reserve your seat today at 203-468-3890. You may also register to attend by sending an email to Cynthia Gwiazda, Community Services Librarian. (Civil War artifacts of the Hagaman Library will be on display for viewing following the performance.)

This performance is sponsored in part by the Friends of the East Haven Hagaman Library. Click here to find out more about our Friends’ group and to join! 

Additional parking for evening and weekend library events is available in the East Haven Town Hall parking lot across the street from the library or in the Stop & Shop lot behind the library, accessible from Messina Drive.