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African-American Civil War Stories Told At Park Event

Fort Donelson National Battlefield

National Park News

Visitors had a new way to celebrate Civil War history at Fort Donelson NB on April 4th. For the first time in this Civil War park’s history, African-American re-enactors, historians, and performers talked about the history and legacy of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and the Freedmen’s camp (1862-1866).

Students from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky, along with their instructor, Nancy J. Dawson, nationally-recognized performer Charles Holt, and choreographer Rossi Turner, debuted two performances of “Stories from the Dirt: the African-American Legacy at Fort Donelson.” The historical performance included music, dance, and monologues, using original research about the US Colored Troops at Fort Donelson. Dawson, who wrote the script, and Turner, who directed the music and dance, felt that the performances were an important step in discussing the complete legacy of the Civil War. 

The park also hosted programs by re-enactors with 12th US Colored Heavy Artillery (USCHA). The re-enactors conducted programs about the African-American contributions to the Civil War effort.

These programs were made possible with grant funds from the NPS National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program and the Friends of the Fort Donelson Campaign.



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