Lincoln presenter at next Civil War Roundtable

Lincoln presenter at next Civil War Roundtable

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The next Wayne County Civil War Roundtable program, free and open to the public in the Wooster branch of the Wayne County Public Library, will be held Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a presentation by Gerald Payn as Abraham Lincoln.

As Lincoln, Payn will deliver a PowerPoint program on events at Gettysburg and the war efforts from June into December 1863. In June Confederate troops are pouring into Maryland and Pennsylvania, causing great concern among the citizens there. On July 1 the armies of the North and South happened to meet northwest of Gettysburg, and being outflanked, the Union army crumpled and fled back down through town and reassembled on Cemetery Ridge below town.

On July 2 horrible battles took place in that area. On July 3 Gen. Lee opened fire on the Union army with 159 cannons while the Union batteries fired back with 159 guns. Then Lee ordered 15,000 rebel soldiers to step out in alignment across a mile of open fields, called Pickett’s Charge. They were repulsed and slowly retreated, as less than 7,000 returned. Lee’s army then went back South into Virginia during a horrible rainstorm.

Other happenings during that year: Vicksburg and then Port Hudson surrendered to Gen. Grant. The Soldier’s National Cemetery was established just below Gettysburg, and for the dedication ceremony on Nov. 19, a well-known speaker, Edward Everett, was invited as the keynote speaker and Lincoln was invited to say “a few appropriate remarks.” Everett delivered a two-hour speech, followed by Lincoln’s two-minute speech.

Payn has presented Lincoln since 1999. He has had as many as 100 Lincoln engagements during a year. Payn also has coordinated the Wayne County Civil War Roundtable programs since 2011.

Payn is a retired teacher who served six years in the Ohio National Guard and who is involved in many activities in the community. He and his wife Marilyn, a Mary Lincoln presenter, now live in Wooster. They have three children, six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Due to COVID-19, there is a capacity of 50 people for this event, and registration and face masks are required. Seating will be spaced accordingly. To register, call the library reference department at 330-804-4666 or email