The Jefferson County Black History Preservation Society, in conjunction with the Jefferson County NAACP, will host a talk commemorating the 150th anniversary of the formation of the United States Colored Troops on Friday night May 24 at Fisherman's Hall in Charles Town. The speaker will be local author and historian Bob O'Connor, who will tell of the Bureau of United States Colored Troops officially formed on May 22, 1863. He will explain that for the duration of the Civil War, black soldiers accounted for 200,000 men in the Union army and Union navy. According to O'Connor, by 1864, one in ten of the Union army in the field were black.
O'Connor, who maintains the national United States Colored Troops prisoner of war database containing over 2,200 USCT POWs, will talk about battles those black soldiers were involved in (about 450 in total) and famous regiments including the 54th Massachusetts (from the movie "Glory"). He will also use research by historian Linda Muir of the society to tell about 10 local men who were USCT soldiers.
The program starts at 7 p.m. Fisherman's Hall is located at the corner of Mordington Avenue and East Academy Street in Charles Town. The program is free and open to the public.