QUINCY — Woodland Cemetery played host to the dedication of a marker commemorating the service of Col. Edward Prince during the American Civil War.
Dr. E. C. Fields, portraying Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, spoke of Prince’s history and contributions to the Union’s war efforts.
Prince was second in command to Col. Benjamin Grierson during what would come to be known as Grierson’s Raid, a plan that took over 600 miles through hostile territory to act as a diversion to draw Confederate forces away from Vicksburg, Miss. and Grant’s siege of the city.
The Tri-States Civil War Roundtable, along with the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, have now placed seven commemorative markers in Woodland Cemetery.
“We identified people from the area that were instrumental in the Civil War, who did something above and beyond the call of duty, or something extraordinary,” Dr. Tim Jacobs said. Jacobs is the commander of the Tri-States Civil War Roundtable. “So we just want to call attention to the fact that Quincy had a very large presence in the Civil War, and we want to preserve that legacy.”
Jacobs said the markers are placed throughout the cemetery for the public to visit during regular hours of Woodland.
“One plan we’re looking at for the future, in collaboration with the Historical Society, is something like a walking tour of these commemorative monuments,” Jacobs said.
The Civil War Roundtable and HSQAC held their Civil War Symposium on Friday and Saturday, with a keynote address on Grierson’s Raid, making it the ideal time to present the marker for Prince. Fields also spoke at the Symposium, and was so he was on hands for the marker dedication, as well.
“It’s really amazing that we get someone like Curt Fields who’s one of the best, in my estimation, impersonators of Gen. Grant for our symposium, and then to help us with this dedication,” Jacobs said.
Fields said that he enjoys events like this, being able to give a different presentation of history than people would generally have available to them.
“To bring our history to life in the most palatable and appealing manner possible,” Fields said of his goal in portraying Grant. “You can read books, but they’re one-dimensional. You can watch TV, but it’s sound and light, and probably is not accurate.
“If you come to a living history, you find people that are dedicated to accurate knowledge, accurate appearance, and accurate presentation,” Fields continued. “That’s what it means to me. To lift up our past and put it in front of us foursquare. It’s learning at it’s best.”
The marker for Col. Prince is at the south end of Woodland Cemetery, at the gravesite of Prince and his wife. For more information on this or other markers, as well the connections from the region to the American Civil War, please visit hsqac.org.