Civil War Historian Thomas Ebert will speak at Fort Ontario Aug. 14 Oswego, N.Y. - Before the American Civil War (1861-1865) Oswego County, NY played an active role in the Underground Railroad, a movement which concealed and forwarded escaped slaves to freedom in Canada. During the war Oswego County provided more men to Union Army regiments, on a percentage basis, than any other county in New York State. Civil War historian and Oswego native Thomas J. Ebert will speak about common myths of slavery in the North and South Wednesday, Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. in the enlisted men's barracks inside old Fort Ontario. Admission to the program is free and open to the public. "After the devastation of the Civil War with over 600,000 dead, double that number maimed physically and/or psychologically, both sides constructed myths about the antebellum history of slavery and the justification for huge sacrifices and suffering during the conflict," said Fort Ontario Historic Site Manager Paul Lear. "Mr. Ebert takes the whitewash off of northern and southern myths while filling in some of the questions people might have about slavery and emancipation, especially after viewing the recent epic blockbuster movie "Lincoln." Ebert is a native of Oswego and now resides in California. He holds master's degrees in history and library science and is a major contributor to the forthcoming book "Freedom's Delay: Emancipation in America 1775-1865," by Dr. Allen Carden, scheduled for publication by the University of Tennessee Press in early 2014. Ebert has presented well-received local talks on Oswego's 147th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and on conducting Civil War genealogical research. He has also compiled an Ebert-McGrath family genealogy; a three-volume documentary history of Oswego's 147th New York Infantry Regiment, and an annotated brief history of the 184th New York Infantry Regiment. Fort Ontario State Historic Site is located at the north end of East Fourth Street in the City of Oswego. Anyone with accessibility issues should contact Paul Lear at (315) 343-4711 or [Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov] to make arrangements. For visitor information go to http://www.visitoswegocounty.com/ or call 1-800-248-4FUN.
###Photo caption: FORT ONTARIO State Historic Site will host a lecture by Civil War historian Thomas Ebert at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14 in the Enlisted Men's Barracks. Ebert will discuss common myths of slavery and emancipation from the perspective of both the North and South. (Photo by Mary Ellen Barbeau, Oswego County Tourism Office.) CONTACT: Paul Lear, Historic Site Manager (315) 343-4711 Paul.Lear@parks.ny.gov