Tuesday, June 24, 2008


This simple, but stately memorial honors
the men of African descent who served in the Civil War.

Located on the edge D.C.'s Black Broadway--the U Street Corridor--and not far from the Shaw District* is a memorial to the men of African descent who served as soldiers in colored regiments during the American Civil War. The African American Civil War Memorial commemorates the more than 180,000 ex-slaves and freedmen who joined to fight with the Union.

Designed by Ed Hamilton, this three-part statue titled "The Spirit of Freedom" depicts African American soldiers and sailors preparing to depart for war, and women and children and elders gathering together in solidarity and strength. The statue sits in a granite-paved circular plaza surrounded on three sides by the Wall of Honor. The statue is "the first major art piece by a black sculptor to be placed on federal land anywhere in the District of Columbia." This year is the memorial's 10th anniversary. It, and an adjacent museum, opened to the public on July 18, 1998.

* Named for Robert Gould Shaw who famously led the all-colored Massachusetts 54th in an assault on Fort Wagner, SC, that is memorialized in the motion picture Glory.

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 6/08


The Artful Eye said...

Beautiful, and freedom in more ways than one. Thank goodness.

Misawa Mama said...

Amazing and sad that it has taken so long...

I had no idea that this existed. Thank you for sharing!

D.C. Confidential said...

Andrea: Hear! Hear!

Misawa Mama: It is rather sad how long these things can take. Next year, there will finally be a monument to Martin Luther King, Jr., down on the National Mall. Long overdue.