A brief history of raising Union black regiments during the Civil War will be provided. Focus will be on the several USCT (United States Colored Troop) regiments that were partially recruited in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Muster rolls, service records, pension records, medical records, etc. were used to perform groundbreaking original research. Individual black soldiers were identified and described who enlisted or were drafted in the city of Erie, Waterford, or Meadville. U.S. Navy service by local black men will be addressed. Postwar USCT residents of the Pennsylvania Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Erie will also be covered. Interesting stories of individuals will enrich the research discussed with the audience.
This program will be livestreamed on our Facebook page and later posted to our website and YouTube Channel.
This will be presented by George Deutsch, Executive Director, Erie County Historical Society, and Brian Graff, Retired Geographer/Cartographer, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Historian and author George Deutsch has been involved in this region’s history for over 35 years, especially relating to the Civil War and the War of 1812. He is the newly appointed Executive Director of the Historical Society of Erie County, returning to Erie in June 2016. He has published several articles on the 83rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry and Commodore Oliver H. Perry’s Flagship Niagara. Recently, he completed work on the map/supplement for the Civil War issue of National Geographic magazine. Deutsch is a leader in historical preservation and multiple public history projects, co-founding the Flagship Niagara League in 1980 and serving for many years on its Board of Trustees. He also spent several years on the Erie County (PA) Historical Society Board and co-founded both the Erie Civil War Roundtable and the Erie County Civil War Consortium, a non-profit educational organization. Deutsch helped to lead the efforts to restore and preserve Erie County’s Civil War monument, the Erie related monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield and to conserve the Civil War battle flags now in the Heritage Room at the Blasco Library. He annually teaches history courses at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, is a regular lecturer for the Jefferson Educational Society in Erie and has led dozens of battlefield tours for roundtable and university groups. He has been honored twice by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission and received the Local History Award in 2003 from the Erie County Historical Society. Deutsch has a degree in history from Mercyhurst University in Erie and was also educated at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. Currently he is writing a new book on the famous 83rd Pennsylvania Infantry, focusing on the untold history of its last year in the Civil War.
The Erie County Historical Society opened its new, major exhibit titled “Sacrifice, Valor and Grit: Erie County in the Civil War” on January 7, 2017. Deutsch curated hundreds of artifacts to produce the largest collection of Erie County related Civil War items in any one place since the veteran’s posts closed nearly 100 years ago.