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Contact: Jennifer Zazo, (413) 734-8551
SPRINGFIELD, MA. Springfield Armory National Historic Site is pleased to welcome the public to experience the story of the powerful Civil War soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Rescheduled for Sunday, March 16, 2014, this special program will begin at 11:30 am in the museum theater and continue with a blank firing demonstration on the grounds of the National Historic Site. Guest Park Ranger, Ryan McNabb will convey the spirit of these heroic African Americans. Admission and parking are free of charge.
Park Ranger Ryan McNabb, a fourteen-year veteran of the Boston African American National Historic Site, will use a combination of historical images and stories to introduce the 54th MA, an all-Black Civil War regiment and how their bravery in battle left a legacy of the determination of Black soldiers to fight for equality against daunting odds. McNabb reminds visitors who the men of the 54th were then and how they have been memorialized in current times through famous art such as sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on the Boston Common, and through Historical Re-enactors portraying the 54th soldiers from Washington, D.C. to Boston and Western MA. McNabb shared that, “The story of the 54th is important to me because it helps illustrate the larger meanings of the Civil War and our country's long and often contentious road to freedom.”
After the talk, visitors will experience a brief musical interlude of “Songs from the Soul” by Camp Followers of the Peter Brace Brigade followed by a blank firing demonstration of the rifle muskets used during the War by the troop’s Living Historians. In the space of ten minutes, the blast of black powder and the acrid smell of sulfur will viscerally register with visitors the fear, danger, and shock of firearms and the courage necessary of soldiers in battle.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of our Nation's first armory, established in 1794. Managed with the Commonwealth of MA, Springfield Technical Community College and the National Park Service, it is the home of the world's largest historic American military firearms collection. The site is open daily, 9 AM- 5 PM.
Admission is free. For information call 413-734-8551 or check www.nps.gov/spar.