Cary author Martin Husk and historian Kent McCoury will both speak Wednesday, July 28 at 7 p.m. at Eva Perry Library in Apex.
Husk will discuss his recently published book “The 111th New York Volunteer Infantry: A Civil War History.” The Maryland native has family ties to Col. William Husk, who served with the regiment before becoming its commanding officer.
McCoury retired in 2008 after working 20 years as the assistant site manager of the Bennett Place State Historic Site in Durham. The North Carolina native plans to discuss some of the controversial actions taken by Abraham Lincoln during the South’s rebellion.
An employee with the Environmental Protection Agency, Husk was simply tracing his family history when he began uncovering a wealth of information about William Husk and the 111th Regiment.
Following extensive research and countless delays, Husk finished his first book 15 years after the process began.
“It took a long time,” said Husk. “Three jobs, five (relocations), two kids and a lot of other stuff happened during those years that were more of a priority. But I’ve been a Civil War buff since elementary school and I just kept coming back to the book. I wanted to see it through to the end.”
This will be the first public appearance for Husk to discuss his book.
“After all the effort I put into this it is very gratifying,” said Husk, who graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in political science. “A friend of mine is a college professor in New York and he also asked me to speak up there in the fall. It’s all very humbling.”
McCoury is an experienced veteran when it comes to public speaking. He has given numerous talks on the Civil War and seems to relish the opportunity to discuss his favorite subject.
“It just has so many interesting personalities,” said McCoury. “The war ended nearly 150 years ago and many of those who fought have been dead for over 100 years. Yet, they seem so more alive to me then so many other people. With all the in-fighting and politics on both sides, it is a wonder they accomplished what they did.
“There were so many innovations – the first warship sunk by a submarine, the use of Gatling guns, barbed wire, observation balloons, trench warfare, and the use of the railroad for troop movement. Several future presidents, including the future president of Switzerland, fought in the war. I find the Civil War truly fascinating.”
A native of Avery County near the Tennessee-North Carolina border, the Green Level resident has family connections to both the Union and Confederate armies. He even has one ancestor who fought on both sides.
“I’ve been a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and a member of the Sons of Union Veterans,” said the Appalachian State University graduate. “My family in Tennessee fought for the North and my family in North Carolina fought for the South. But I don’t usually brag a whole lot about the turncoat who fought for both.”
To register for this Civil War event call the library at 387-2100.