Coventry Town Museum presents the 11th annual Civil War memorial

COVENTRY – Private James Stewart Hoyt, who served in the Civil War, will have his memorial service this Sunday Oct. 18th from 1:30-3:30 p.m., at the Coventry Union Cemetery and Coventry United Gospel Church.

Each year, the Coventry Town Museum, in concert with others from the community, decides on an individual from the local area who fought in the American Civil War.

The process of choosing the person to be honored is quite simple, explained Janine Hakim, President of the Coventry Town Museum.

Hakim said that the man doing a bulk of behind-the-scenes research on chosen candidates – and the man who sparked the original idea of the memorial service – is William Searfoss, a local historian.

After a list of possible people is comprised, it’s examined by the Coventry Town Museum Board until an individual is identified.

“It all began with Pvt. Charles Moon, Company H, 5th NY, Heavy Artillery, who died at Salisbury Confederate Prison on Nov. 24th or 25th during the war,” said Searfoss.

Searfoss went on to explain how he was able to obtain a memorial marker to be placed at the family plot in the Coventry Union Cemetery, thanks in part to help from his mentor, Fran Lynch. He also said he reached the Coventry Museum Association. The museum director, Phyliss Lerwick, agreed to the idea, but suggested more of a memorial program with historic Coventry to provide a backdrop for the event. The community heavily embraced this event, and it even saw support from outside the community.

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