On Feb 20, Iles House hosted the Sangamon County Historical Society. The guest speaker was Robert Davis, who delivered a moving first-person account of Andrew Lewis, a slave who escaped to freedom and fought in the Civil War with the 29th Illinois Regiment.
Mr. Davis is pictured here with his wife, Patricia J. Davis, who works in recruitment for the SIU School of Medicine. A fiscal officer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Mr. Davis holds degrees from Princeton and Chicago, and he has taught at Lincoln Land and the University of Illinois at Springfield.
He grew up in Detroit, where he heard stories about the Civil War from his parents and grandparents. Born in 1886 and 1889, his grandparents lived near Comer, Georgia, and spoke often about General Sherman's army marching through Georgia.
Mr. Davis is active with Civil War re-enactors and hopes one day to form an African-American cavalry unit, complete with uniforms and horses. Recently he joined the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association.
Pictures by Dick Hart