U Street: It’s the heart of the African American experience in Washington, DC. Making it a fitting site for the African American Civil War Memorial.
And let us be clear about this – The Civil War was about one thing and one thing only: Slavery. It wasn’t about states’ rights, taxation, or tariffs. It was about slavery. And let’s be clear about one other thing. While enslaved people may have been forced to work for the rebel army, none ever joined the rebel army and fought for its cause.
Over 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors served in the Army and Navy during the Civil War. Their service is remembered here. helped to end the war and free over four million enslaved people.
There were 175 regiments of United States Colored Troops. First recruited in 1863, they constituted around one-tenth of the Army. They fought val and disproved the claims of African American inferiority and laid the groundwork for the fight for civil rights, voting rights, and freedom rights that continue to this day.
On this wall are the names of 209,145 soldiers of the United States Colored Troops, 7,000 white Officers and 2,145 Hispanic surnames. Although their names are not listed, this place also honors approximately 20,000 Civil War era sailors. The Navy was not segregated so those names are harder to find.
Ed Hamilton is the sculptor. Inscribed on the base: ‘Civil War to Civil Rights and Beyond.
So come down to U Street. Eat over at Ben’s Chili Bowl, check out the wonderful murals, but come here to remember those who fought for their freedom and fought to free all of us from America’s original sin.