Charles Lenox

Banner with a black and white image of a man in military uniform. Text is obscured in the background

The Watertown Free Public Library has partnered with the New Rep Theatre to help tell the story of Charles Lenox. A Watertown resident and barber by trade, Lenox served as a sergeant for the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, (Colored) Company A of the Union Army during the Civil War.

The Charles Lenox Experience

The Charles Lenox Experience is an "immersive and educational theatrical experience that leads participants on a stroll through historical sites in Watertown." Lenox, played by Kadahj Bennett, will lead groups through significant stops in his life, such as the site of his barbershop and the Civil War monument in Watertown Square. The play was written by Ken Green and directed by Michael Ofori with research assistance provided by the Watertown Free Public Library and the Watertown Historical Society.

The Charles Lenox Experience runs through November 8. Tickets may be purchased at

Read More


  • A Grand army of Black men: letters from African-American soldiers in the Union Army, 1861-1865 edited by Edwin S. Redkey (book)
  • History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, 1863-1865 by Luis Emilio (book, Internet Archive)
  • Like men of war: Black troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 by Noah Andre Trudeau (book)
  • Massachusetts and the Civil War: the Commonwealth and National Disunion edited by Matthew Mason, Katheryn P. Viens and Conrad Edick Wright (book)
  • Thunder at the gates: The Black Civil War regiments that redeemed America by Douglas R. Egerton (book)
  • Watertown's military history (book, Internet Archive)
  • Where death and glory meet: Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Infantry by Russell Duncan (book)


  • Glory, 1989 film starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes, and Morgan Freeman (DVD)


  • 54th Regiment!, online resource from the Massachusetts Historical Society
  • Freedom's Soldiers: The Black Military Experience in the Civil War selected documents, an online resource from the Freedmen and Southern Society Project


The timeline below will be on display in front of the Library through fall 2020.

Colorful lawn signs in front of a library along the sidewalk, on a sunny day.
Colorful lawn sign with the words "1863" and a photo of men in battle.
Colorful lawn sign with a long quote in white text on a red background.
Colorful lawn sign with the words "1865" and a photo of three flags.