Pamplin Park to unveils ‘We Fight for Our Rights’ exhibit
The new exhibit – which opens on May 31 at 1:30 p.m. – tells the story of the enslaved and their fight for freedom during the American Civil War and the contributions of African-American military members through the 20th century. The exhibit focuses on the USCT or United States Colored Troops who were formerly enslaved African-Americans who joined the Union Army in their fight to end slavery and preserve the Union.
It is estimated that approximately 180,000 men rose to join the fight in the ranks of the USCT. Their numbers amounted to ten percent of the Union Army which formed at least 166 regiments that would fight in 450 battle engagements.
The ultimate Union victory paved the way for three amendments to the US Constitution: the 13th that abolished slavery, the 14th gave African-Americans equal protection under the law, and the 15th gave African-American men the right to vote.
The exhibit continues the African-American military post-war story by sharing the contributions and struggles of the Buffalo Soldiers of the Plains Wars, the Harlem Hellfighters of World War I and the Tuskegee Airmen who took to the skies during World War II in a segregated United States military. Desegregation of the United States Armed Forces came in the form of Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948. This opened further opportunities leading to females in expanded military service roles in the 1970s. A combination of artifacts, images and prints will invite visitors to follow the road to freedom and beyond.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at the Park’s Battlefield Center at 1:30 p.m. and is part of a full day of activities in honor of Memorial Day. There will be a wayside unveiling honoring those who were enslaved at Tudor Hall and a ceremony with a cannon salute and playing of taps in the morning. The exhibit ribbon cutting will be followed by Civil War bugle calls, camp life demonstrations and a battlefield walking tour.
This special exhibit will be open through November of 2021 and included with regular daily admission.
The Park is normally open Tuesday through Sunday with the exception of Memorial Day. Daily admission for adults is $15, seniors (65+) and Military w/ID $12, children (6-12) $8, and children under 6 free.