2015-09-24 / Front Page

Skeet Willingham will speak on Capt. Hunter at historical park

Robert M. “Skeet” Willingham, Jr., Wilkes County author and his­torian, will be the guest speaker for the seventh installment in the 2015 “History in the Park” lecture series, hosted by the Lincoln County His­torical Society.

The lecture is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, at the Groves-May House in the Lincoln County Historical Park on Lumber Street.

Willingham’s topic is “Captain Thomas T. Hunter of the Confeder­ate States Navy.”

When his home state of Virginia left the Union, Hunter followed, joining the fledgling Confederate Navy as one of its most seasoned officers.

He went on to command the CSS Curlew at the Battles of Roanoke Island, the gunboat CSS Gaines in the Battle of Mobile Bay, and the ironclad CSS Chicora, which drove the USS Keystone side-wheeler from combat.

After the war, Captain Hunter moved to Wilkes County where his son had settled, married the sister of Gen. Dudley DuBose, and remade himself into a successful farmer. Gen. DuBose was the son-in-law of Robert Toombs, the Confederacy’s first secretary of state.

Hunter’s hair-raising adventures, as told by Willingham, are certain to captivate the audience gathered for History in the Park.

According to Gary Edwards, historical society president, “I think the more Skeet researched Captain Hunter’s life, the more interesting it got. Captain Hunter’s career is nearly unbelievable in its depth and breadth.

“Skeet’s research is always ex­haustive, and the results are typically eye-opening in the amount of previ­ously undiscovered or uncorrelated information he uncovers. I’m really looking forward to his talk.”

Following the presentation, des­serts, coffee, and tea, prepared by the cooks of the historical society, will be served, allowing plenty of time for members of the audience to speak individually with Will­ingham.

The public is heartily encouraged to attend each installment in the lecture series.

There is no admission charge. However, donations to the historical society will be gladly accepted.

For more information about His­tory in the Park, contact Gary Ed­wards at 1-757-831-9556.

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