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Fighting for Freedom and Protesting for Civil Rights: The U.S. Colored Troops in Civil War Alexandria.

July 13 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Join the Alexandria Historical Society (AHS) on a journey through time as we explore the experiences of United States Colored Troops (USCT) in Alexandria during the Civil War. After President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, more than 200,000 African American men enlisted in the Union Army, valiantly fighting for the freedom of those enslaved and changing the course of the war.

With Alexandria occupied by the federal government and serving as a staging ground and supply center for the war effort, many USCT found themselves on the streets of our city. Often sent here for treatment of diseases or battleground injuries, some sadly succumbed to their illnesses, not living long in freedom.

Paula Whitacre, a member of the AHS Board of Directors and author of A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time, will begin the tour with introductory remarks that provide the context for understanding the history of African American soldiers in Alexandria during the war. 

Dr. Pamela Cressey, current President of AHS and retired City Archaeologist, will lead a tour at the site of L’Ouverture Hospital, a state-of-the art facility for its time. Built originally for treatment of the USCT, L’Ouverture on what is now the 1300 block of Duke and Prince Streets also served the large community of freedom-seekers who made their way to the city during the war. 

David Heiby, AHS Treasurer and founder of Gravestone Stories, will take us to the Alexandria National Cemetery to highlight the lives and contributions of the USCT buried there. 

Don’t miss this leisurely walking tour where you will learn how the USCT petitioned federal authorities
in one of the first successful civil rights actions in Alexandria!

Link to tickets:

Member Ticket $15

Non-Member Ticket $25

Renew or Become a Basic member & buy 1 ticket for a total of $35
Renew or Become a Golden Member & buy 2 tickets for a total of $60

Everyone Welcome! AHS Membership NOT Required — but it is worth it!


Alexandria Historical Society
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Shiloh Baptist Church Alexandria
1401 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314 United States
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