Tryon Palace will hold the 35th USCT Symposium on September 12, 2020, featuring nine local and national scholars on the United States Colored Troops. The 35th United States Colored Troops Interpretive Reenactment Group is one of the three military interpretive units at Tryon Palace. This group is dedicated to telling the stories of the original members of the 35th USCT regiment, mustered at the New Bern Academy at Tryon Palace in 1862. It was the first USCT regiment formed in North Carolina after the Emancipation Proclamation. In 2016, the Tryon Palace Foundation received an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to form an interpretive group based on the experiences of the United States Colored Troops during the American Civil War and the 35th USCT Reenactment Group.
African Americans fought in the Civil War for the Union Army. New Bern served as the recruiting headquarters for enlisting more than 5,000 soldiers for the United States Colored Troop (USCT). The first North Carolina Colored Volunteer (35th USCT), organized 1863 in North Carolina was one of the first regiments mustered in the nation. This symposium will cover the struggles for freedom and citizenship by African Americans during the American Civil War. These speakers will combine pictures, historical documents, and personal vignettes to educate the public and honor the sacrifices of these soldiers made in the fight for freedom.
Schedule of Events
9 AM Session I "Oh, Freedom" The USCT in the Context of the Civil War
10 AM Session II "An Eagle in his Button" The North Carolina Connection
11 AM Session III "Keepers of the Flame" Current Efforts to Commemorate the USCT
“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullet’s in his pocket, and there is no powder on earth or under the earth which can deny that he has earned the right of citizenship in the United States.”---Frederick Douglass, July 6, 1863---
This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.