by Smithfield Community Association
PETERBORO – On Friday June 9, at 7 PM, the film Union Bound will be introduced by both its director and producer and screened at the Smithfield Community Center at 5255 Pleasant Valley Road in Peterboro. The movie opens the 25th Annual Peterboro Civil War Weekend. The weekend is an educational and fund-raising event for the Smithfield Community Association (501c3) in Peterboro. Admission for the film is $5 at the door.
Film Producer and Director Introduces Civil War Film in Peterboro
Union Bound is Bound for Peterboro
“It took 150 years to make this movie!” exclaims Pat Ennis from Fayetteville, NY. Ennis will tell the story behind the making of the Civil War movie Union Bound at 7 pm Friday, June 9 in Peterboro, NY. Ennis will be joined by Michael Davis, the producer who made the movie Union Bound based on two small Civil War diaries of Ennis’ great, great grandfather Joseph Hoover of Herkimer, NY.
As Ennis explains, “The family had always treasured Hoover’s diaries but no one had ever actually read them all.” So Pat and her husband Bryan began “translating” the small books. Bryan squinted through a magnifying glass to haltingly read the faded penciled words to Pat who typed as Bryan read. One day the pair made a special discovery that Hoover was helped in his escape by slaves.
Ennis describes the irony of their discovery, “He went to free the slaves, but, in the end, was freed by them!” Ennis reports that Carl Westmoreland (Senior Historian, National Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati, OH) pronounced Hoover’s diaries as the first primary evidence that Union soldiers were aided by slaves. The movie was produced from the war diaries of Joseph Hoover which were transcribed Hoovers by great, great granddaughter Pat Ennis and her husband Bryan.
Founder and CEO of Uptone Pictures, Michael Davis also co-authored a book by the same name as the 2015 film. Sean Stone, son of movie producer Oliver Stone, plays Hoover in the movie, and Larry “Tank” Jones from the Breaking Bad TV series plays Jim Young, a slave who helps Hoover on his way north. Davis will come from North Carolina to Peterboro on June 9th to introduce Union Bound before its showing, and sell and sign Union Bound DVDs and his book.
Union Bound relates Sgt. Joseph Hoover’s service in the 121st New York Volunteer Infantry along with other recruits from the Herkimer County area. Hoover and friends were captured at the Battle of the Wilderness and spent four month in Andersonville prison in Georgia. They were transferred to the Florence Stockade in South Carolina, from which they escaped. With the assistance of slaves, Hoover made it back to his unit in Virginia, and after the war returned to his hometown to work as a cabinetmaker and raise a family.