GREENSBURG – Actor, storyteller and musician Kevin Stonerock will appear as William Fentress, Union Soldier from Henry County, from noon to 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 18) at the Decatur County Greensburg Public Library.

Stonerock's presentation, called "Billy Yank," is set in the year 1864 with a battle-weary Fentress home on leave from the Union Army.

Although the character he portrays was a real individual, much of the presentation deals with issues or items which would have been common to most northern soldiers of the Civil War. These include camp life, battlefield experiences, army humor, food, equipment, music, weapons, uniforms and the home front.

Often somewhat gritty, this program, this program is more appropriate for an adult audience and is designed to give audiences a better understanding of life as a Union Soldier fighting in the "War Between the States."

"While we love kids, the venue, meal, and program is geared toward adults or older teens," library Director of Adult Programming Lori Durbin said. "Kevin's character... is based on the real life of William Fentress, a Union soldier that lived in New Castle. We are doing a homecoming lunch for the character of William Fentress. For his meal, we are serving foods that would have been available to him as he came home from the war."

Ham, potatoes, green beans, biscuits, preserved jellies and jams, and fruit cobbler – all available to hometown Hoosiers in the early 1860s – will be served.

"Salt pork was readily available then, that's how they preserved meat then, but for obvious reasons we will have ham," Durbin said.

Stonerock performs as a method actor and makes his presentation in the first person.

"He doesn't break character as he performs. He'll explain what it was really like for solders then, and it's his way of bringing the audience right into his character's world," Durbin said.

The Civil War began when the Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12, 1861.

Even though it was fought in thousands of locations from southern Pennsylvania to Texas and from New Mexico to the Florida coast, the majority of the fighting took place in the states of Virginia and Tennessee. The Civil War was also contested on the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

The war ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.

"We are proud to be a part of the ARTistree district and we enjoy presenting programs supporting the arts," Durbin said.

The library will be closed for other business during Stonerock's performance.

Adults interested in attending this free event are encouraged to pre-register by visiting the Decatur County Greensburg Public Library website by calling the library at (812) 663-2826.


Bill Rethlake may be contacted at 812-663-3111 or

Contact Bill Rethlake at 812-663-3111, ext. 7011 or email