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African-Americans and Women in the Civil War

Event Description

This is a free lecture event to celebrate the contributions of women and African-Americans during the Civil War. A member from the City Council in Kinston will also be making an appearance and saying a few words to begin our program. This is the first year in history the entire City Council in Kinston is African-American.

Program Schedule:
11:00 a.m.- Guest speaker Shannon Walker will focus on women’s roles in medicine during the American Civil War, and the involvement of African American women in the development of the modern nursing field.

2:00 p.m.-Guest speaker and author, Alex Christopher Meekins will give a presentation on Wild’s 1st North Carolina Colored Volunteers (NCCV), who along with some soldiers from the 55th Massachusetts Volunteers were among the 10,000 reinforcements requested by Gen. Quincy A. Gillmore who was in command of Union forces attempting to attack Charleston. Ordered to depart in light marching order, the men of the regiment left their baggage and personal belongings behind in New Bern. The group was raised in North Carolina, but saw action in border states. The regiment became the 35th United States Colored Troops (USCT), fighting all its battles and skirmishes in South Carolina and Florida, including the action at Battery Wagner, later made famous in the movie Glory, before seeing Reconstruction era service at Charleston.

3:00 p.m.-Guest speaker and author, Reginald Hildebrand will give a talk on "The First Year of Freedom in North Carolina: Pursuing Freedom with the Hoe and the Sword, the Book and the Lord". Using first-hand accounts, this talk will illustrate some of the ways in which freedom was experienced in North Carolina in 1865, including the accounts of black soldiers entering Wilmington in February, the first 4th of July celebration of the freedpeople, and a 'watch night' service in Raleigh to mark both the New Year and the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.