Virtual Visit

African American
Civil War Memorial

Washington, D.C.

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Encircled on three sides by the Wall of Honor -- bearing 209,145 United States Colored Troops names, including the USCT regiments that trained on Hart and Rikers Islands -- is the Spirit of Freedom sculpture in the center of the granite plaza that opened as the African American Civil War Memorial in 1999.

Ten feet tall, it features soldiers and a sailor on one side; women, children and elders on the other. The sculpture by Ed Hamilton is the first major art piece by a Black sculptor on federal land in D.C. Skies turned overcast during NYCHS photo visit.

Who would be free themselves
must strike the blow.
Better even die free than to live slaves.

Frederick Douglass

Inscription over & behind 166 stainless steel plaques of USCT names arranged by regiment.

Metro riders emerge at U St./Cardozo Station.

Above: USCT name plaques for
Hart's 31st & Rikers' 20th & 26th.

20th Regiment, USCT.

Organized at Riker's Island. Feb. 9, 1864.

Ordered to Gulf March, 1864.

Arrived at New Orleans on March 20.

Moved to Port Hudson, La., March 21.

Moved to Pass Cavallo, Texas, Ap. 21.

In Carrollton, La., district June.

At Plaquemine July.

At Camp Parapet and Chalmette Aug., 1866.

At Camp Parapet and in Carrollton district until December.

To W. Pascagoula, Fla., Dec.26.

Return to New Orleans Feb., 1865, and duty there until June.

At Nashville Aug.

Mustered out Oct. 7, 1865.

For more on D.C. memorial, click above image.

For more on USCTs from NY, click above logo.


Organized at
Riker's Island,
Feb. 27, 1864.

At Beaufort, S.C., April 13, - Nov. 27.

Expedition to Johns and James Islands July 2-10, 1865.

Operations against Battery Pringle July 4-9.

Battle of Honey Hill Nov. 30.

Demonstration on Charleston & Savannah
Dec. 6-9.

Action at Devaux's Neck Dec. 6.

Tillifinny Station Dec. 9.

McKay's Pt. Dec. 22.

Ordered to Beaufort, S.C., Jan. 2, 1865, and remained on duty there until August.

Mustered out Aug. 28, 1865.

Lost 2 officers & 28 enlisted men killed & mortally wounded; 3 officers & 112 enlisted men by disease. Total 145.

31st Regiment, USCT.

Organized at Hart Island. April 29, 1864.

Campaign from the Rapidan to the James River, Va., May-June, 1864. Guard trains of the Army of the Potomac through the Wilderness.

Battles about Cold Harbor June 2-12. Before Petersburg June 15-19.

Siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond June 16, 1864, to April 2, 1865. Mine Explosion, Petersburg, July 30, 1864.

Weldon Railroad August 18-21. Fort Sedgwick September 28. Hatcher's Run October 27-28. On the Bermuda front till March, 1865. Moved to Hatcher's Run March 26-28. Hatcher's Run March 29-31. Fall of Petersburg April 2.

Appomattox Campaign March 28-April 9. Pursuit of Lee April 3-9. Appomattox Court House April 9. Surrender of Lee and his army.

Duty in the Dept. of Virginia till May. Moved to Texas May-June, and duty on the Rio Grande until November.

Mustered out November 7, 1865.

Lost 3 Officers & 48 Enlisted men killed & mortally wounded & 1 Officer & 123 Enlisted men by disease. Total 175.

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African American Civil War Memorial scene images above are copyrighted. 2005 by the New York Correction History Society and its webmaster. Noncommercial educational use is permitted with citation of as the photo image source. E-mail notice of use would be appreciated.