Kentucky Historical Society
New Historical Marker Commemorates African-American Soldiers in the Civil War

Press Release Date:  Friday, May 29, 2015  
Contact Information:  CONTACT: Becky Riddle
becky.riddle@ky.gov
502-564-1792, ext. 4474
 


FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 29 , 2015) – The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) will dedicate a new historical marker June 19 to commemorate the service of enslaved African-Americans from Daviess County who joined the Union Army during the Civil War.

The ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. CDT on the Daviess County Courthouse grounds, 2nd Street between St. Ann and Frederica, in Owensboro.  

In 1864, several hundred enslaved African-American men from Daviess County joined the Union Army. They served in the 100th, 109th and 118th U.S. Colored Infantry and the 5th and 6th U.S. Colored Cavalry, and took part in important operations – including Robert E. Lee’s surrender–in Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana and Virginia.

The men enlisted at great risk to themselves and their families—not only because of the dangers of war, but also because of opposition among pro-slavery Kentucky Unionists to the recruitment of slaves for military service.

More than 2,200 historical markers statewide tell Kentucky’s history. More information about the marker application process, a database of markers and their text and the Explore Kentucky History app, a virtual tour of markers by theme, is at history.ky.gov/markers. KHS administers the Kentucky Historical Marker Program in cooperation with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

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The Kentucky Historical Society, an agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, was established in 1836 and is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky’s history. KHS is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. For more information about KHS and its programs, visit history.ky.gov.