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January 27, 2012 > Historical society honors William Tillman

Historical society honors William Tillman

Submitted By Johanna Fassbender

Join Professor Gerald Henig for the story of William Tillman, a free African-American, and his heroic act during the Civil War. The program takes place on Saturday, February 4, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., at Palma Ceia Baptist Church, Bennett Hall, 28605 Ruus Road, Hayward.

Tillman was an illiterate ship's cook and steward and recaptured a Union vessel from Confederate privateers in 1861 and sailed it safely into New York City's harbor. Until Professor Henig uncovered the story, Tillman had been virtually unknown to Civil War specialists and history buffs alike.

The program is a collaboration between the Hayward Area Historical Society, the Women's Ministry of Palma Ceia Baptist Church, and the South Bay Area Chapter of the LINKS Inc. in honor of Black History Month.

The Hayward Area Historical Society preserves and interprets the diverse history of the Hayward, Castro Valley, and San Lorenzo area through educational programs, history exhibitions, and the preservation of historic sites and artifacts.

Gerald S. Henig is emeritus professor of history at California State University, East Bay, where he is a veteran of forty years of teaching. One of the most decorated professors on campus, he received the Outstanding Professor Award and was a four-time winner of the Pi Kappa Delta Best Lecturer Award. After graduating from Brooklyn College, Jerry earned his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in American history from The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has written numerous articles on the political and military history of the Civil War, and is the author of Henry Winter Davis: Antebellum and Civil War Congressman from Maryland and co-author of Civil War Firsts: The Legacies of America's Bloodiest Conflict, which was a selection of the nationally prestigious History Book Club and the Military Book Club.

For additional information regarding William Tillman: the Union's First Black Hero, contact Johanna Fassbender at (510) 581-0223 or visit

William Tillman: the Union's First Black Hero
Saturday, Feb 4
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Palma Ceia Baptist Church, Bennett Hall
28605 Ruus Road, Hayward
(510) 581-0223

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