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Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-475-9034
The National Park Service continues this season's Know Your Park presentations with a special program highlighting the Civil War U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), and specifically the battles fought by the USCT which included enlisted men from the Freedmen's Colony of Roanoke Island. This presentation will be given by Dr. James Bryant, II at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Visitor Center on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 6:30 pm.This 1-hour event is free and open to the general public.
The Freedman's Colony at Roanoke Island was a key recruiting post for African American men serving in the USCT and a safe haven for soldiers' families.At least 139 Roanoke Island freedmen were recruited for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd North Carolina Colored Infantry Volunteers, which were later renamed the 35th, 36th, and 37th USCT.Many of the battles in which these men fought are now at their 150th anniversary.
Dr. Bryant is a former Associate Professor of History at Shenandoah University, where he served as Department Chair. Bryant has completed significant research centering on black Union army regiments in the Civil War composed mostly of former slaves from eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. His focus on these soldiers, their families, and the larger community under slavery provides a glimpse into their transition from slavery to freedom with the Union army becoming an agent for social change. He is author of The Chancellorsville Campaign: The Nation's High Water Mark;The Battle of Fredericksburg: We Cannot Escape History;and The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops: A History and Roster.
The Know Your Park program series is designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring national park sites;Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial, and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site.
Future Know Your Park presentations are scheduled for January 12, 2015 in Ocracoke and January 13 in Buxton on the Outer Banks and World War I, featuring Michael Lowrey--a recognized expert on German submarine operations during World War I.
A unit of the National Park Service, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site protects and preserves known portions of England's first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590, and the cultural heritage of the Native Americans, European Americans and African Americans who have lived on Roanoke Island.