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Contact: Kim Coons, 423-752-5213 x139
Fort Oglethorpe, GA: Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, in partnership with the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, invites the public to participate in a free, one hour program at the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 East Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chattanooga, Tennessee 37403, on Saturday, March 12 at 11 am.This program will explore the role of the United States Colored Troops in securing Chattanooga during the Civil War and the African American community that emerged out of Camp Contraband.
At the start of the Civil War, slavery was legal in Chattanooga, and enslaved people made up around 10% of the county population. By the end of the war, black American soldiers patrolled the streets and African Americans made up around half of the city's population. Throughout the South, but especially in Chattanooga, the old social order and economic system was turned upside down. We hope you will make plans to attend this program to learn more about this crucial time in our community's history.