Little Joseph Green, the great-great-great grandson
of Frederick Douglass, was among the USCT Troops
who were honored by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell
NASHVILLE – The 1865 Grand Review of United States Colored Troops was commemorated recently in Harrisburg, Pa.. More than 100 re-enactors participated, including the 13th U.S. Colored Troops of Murfreesboro and the 44th U.S. Colored Troops of Chattanooga. The 25 individuals who made the trip from Tennessee represented the Volunteer State in grand military style. These committed men who serve as re-enactors strive to encourage African American populations to recognize and appreciate the extreme sacrifices made by their ancestors in the quest for freedom and citizenship in the United States of America.
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell honored the United States Colored Troops of the Civil War and their descendants on the front steps of the capitol in Harrisburg. In a letter to Governor Rendell, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen wrote, “This event, which recognizes the United States Colored Troops and their families, serves as a vivid reminder of the role these men played in such a significant event in our country.”
As the nation marked the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Pennsylvania commemorated the history of the soldiers who participated in a story largely unknown to most Americans – the Pennsylvania Grand Review. This November 1865 event of the same name was organized by the women of Harrisburg to honor the United States Colored Troops from 25 states who were not permitted to participate in the Grand Review of the Armies, a military procession and celebration held May 23-24, 1865 in Washington, D.C., following the end of the Civil War.
“It was an honor to represent Tennessee in this event and to bring awareness to the role African American soldiers played in this pivotal war, said Norm Hill, a re-enactor who participated in the event and a member of the Tennessee Sesquicentennial Commission. Fellow Commission member, Bill Radcliffe, also took part in the event.
As history notes, there were approximately 180,000 members of the Colored Troops who fought in the Civil War and by the end of the war, 24,000 of them were Tennesseans. This event and others, will create conversation, stir interest, develop an appreciation for history, as well as acknowledge the role the American Civil War played in the lives of all Americans.