Latinos in the Civil War: A Maryland Perspective.

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Loreta Janeta Velazquez, and dressed as Lt. Harry Buford (Courtesy US Army)Did you know a female Cuban immigrant enlisted in the Confederate Army and masqueraded as a man?  Thursday, March 14, at 7:00 pm,  the Laurel Historical Society will host Marta Cruz Kelly, Chief of Interpretation and Education for the National Park Service for a free program on Latinos in the Civil War:  A Maryland Perspective. Loreta Janeta Velazquez enlisted against her husband’s wishes, and fought in numerous battles as “Lieutenant Harry Buford.”  Recent evidence indicates that she died and was buried in Maryland.  The program will explore Velazquez’s Civil War exploits and other little known Latino contributions to the Union and Confederate sides.

Marta Cruz Kelly is the current Chief of Interpretation and Education for the National Park Service. She has held a range of positions within NPS, from Interpretative Park Ranger and Bilingual Programs Coordinator, to park manager and senior program manager positions with the (former) Minerals Management Services, and the Office of Secretary. Marta has been a proud proponent of the Latino Heritage Initiative since its inception, in Spring 2011.

Latinos in the Civil War will be held at the Laurel Pool Room 9th & Main Streets, Laurel, Maryland. The free program is part of a series related to the current exhibit at the Laurel Museum:  Stationed in Laurel:  Our Civil War Story, which runs through December 2013.  It is sponsored by Maryland Milestone/ATHA Inc and the Laurel Historical Society. For more information visit, 301-725-7975,  The Laurel Museum is open Wednesdays/Fridays 10:00am-2:00pm and Sundays 1:00-4:00pm.  Groups are welcome with prior arrangements.  The John Brennan Research Library is open Mondays and by appointment.