OXFORD – Tuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m., the Oxford Historical Society (OHS) is presenting an “Extraordinary Story from Oxford’s Past” in the Community Room of the Oxford Memorial Library and all are invited. There is in Oxford’s history an extraordinary story of two Oxford Academy graduates who were involved in our nation’s greatest conflict, the Civil War. Hannah Merrill and Theodore G. Ingersoll went their separate ways after their Academy days; both made crucial choices and had event-filled lives.
Hannah married a southern gentleman who became a General in the Confederate States Army. Theodore served in the Union Army and became a Quartermaster Sergeant in the New York 10th Cavalry Division.He fought in many battles including Gettysburg and Cedar Creek and recorded his life as a soldier in four diaries.
This program will remind Oxonians and others of those days and those lives. This is an enthralling story made possible by the meticulous compilation of Ingersoll’s four diaries into a newly-published book. It includes a poignant letter from a southern lady whose family well remembers many events from the days and lives of these two young people. It was recently sent to the citizens of Oxford by Anne Houghton Branch Walker, the great-great-granddaughter of Hannah Merrill. It reminds us of how two parts of our nation, once so bitterly separated, are now one whole.
The story will be brought to life by the noted scholar and speaker Douglas Oakes of Wellsburg, N.Y. Doug is an expert on cavalry soldiers of the Civil War era. He is also an excellent speaker whose words flow through the years and events. Doug has read Ingersoll’s diary and will bring to life for the audience several thoughts and experiences from those pages. Doug will answer questions from the audience and take part in conversations that accompany the refreshments following the program. It will be an informing and thought provoking evening.