The African-American Monument is located on the south side of Grant Avenue between milepost 4.3 and 4.4. Erected by the State of Mississippi at a cost of $300,000, including $25,000 contributed by the City of Vicksburg, the sculpture is the work of Dr. Kim Sessums, from Brookhaven, Mississippi. The monument consists of three bronze figures on a base of black African granite — two black Union soldiers, and a common field hand. The field hand and one soldier support between them the second soldier, who is wounded and represents the sacrifice in blood made by black soldiers on the field of battle during the Civil War. The field hand looks behind at a past of slavery, while the first soldier gazes toward a future of freedom secured by force of arms on the field of battle.
Did You Know?
Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.