African American Monument

Ole Miss

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#1
I wanted to share this monument, dedicated to the more than 190,000 plus African Americans who served in the Federal forces, as many are unaware of its location at Vicksburg.
Regards
David
1552596092691.png

The African-American Monument is located on the south side of Grant Avenue between milepost 4.3 and 4.4. Erected by the State of Mississippi at a cost of $300,000, including $25,000 contributed by the City of Vicksburg, the sculpture is the work of Dr. Kim Sessums, from Brookhaven, Mississippi. The monument consists of three bronze figures on a base of black African granite — two black Union soldiers, and a common field hand. The field hand and one soldier support between them the second soldier, who is wounded and represents the sacrifice in blood made by black soldiers on the field of battle during the Civil War. The field hand looks behind at a past of slavery, while the first soldier gazes toward a future of freedom secured by force of arms on the field of battle.
NPS https://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/african-american-history.htm
 

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James N.

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#2
It's worth pointing out that NO members of the USCT served at Vicksburg DURING the siege although naturally they made up a significant part of the Union occupation and Reconstruction garrison. However, the incident suggested by the design of the figures atop the monument occurred across the Mississippi at Miliken's Bend during the siege. The monuments here on Grant Circle include ones for units not actually engaged in the siege itself, many of whom were part of the Ninth Corps facing Joe Johnston across the Big Black River protecting Grant's rear. State monuments for Massachusetts, Rhode Island (below), and Connecticut are here since there were a handful of regiments from those New England states in the corps.

DSC01687.JPG
 

Cavalry Charger

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#3
The monument consists of three bronze figures on a base of black African granite — two black Union soldiers, and a common field hand. The field hand and one soldier support between them the second soldier, who is wounded and represents the sacrifice in blood made by black soldiers on the field of battle during the Civil War. The field hand looks behind at a past of slavery, while the first soldier gazes toward a future of freedom secured by force of arms on the field of battle.
This is a wonderful concept for a monument and thanks for including that information explaining it.

I am disappointed to see that it is impossible to read the inscription below. Any idea what is says @Ole Miss ?
 
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#5
I wanted to share this monument, dedicated to the more than 190,000 plus African Americans who served in the Federal forces, as many are unaware of its location at Vicksburg.
Regards
David
View attachment 296951
The African-American Monument is located on the south side of Grant Avenue between milepost 4.3 and 4.4. Erected by the State of Mississippi at a cost of $300,000, including $25,000 contributed by the City of Vicksburg, the sculpture is the work of Dr. Kim Sessums, from Brookhaven, Mississippi. The monument consists of three bronze figures on a base of black African granite — two black Union soldiers, and a common field hand. The field hand and one soldier support between them the second soldier, who is wounded and represents the sacrifice in blood made by black soldiers on the field of battle during the Civil War. The field hand looks behind at a past of slavery, while the first soldier gazes toward a future of freedom secured by force of arms on the field of battle.
NPS https://www.nps.gov/vick/learn/historyculture/african-american-history.htm
Great photos !

I remember when this monument was 'brand new'.
As with most such monuments, I see that time has placed it's usual patina on the bronze.
 
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#6
It's worth pointing out that NO members of the USCT served at Vicksburg DURING the siege although naturally they made up a significant part of the Union occupation and Reconstruction garrison. However, the incident suggested by the design of the figures atop the monument occurred across the Mississippi at Miliken's Bend during the siege. The monuments here on Grant Circle include ones for units not actually engaged in the siege itself, many of whom were part of the Ninth Corps facing Joe Johnston across the Big Black River protecting Grant's rear. State monuments for Massachusetts, Rhode Island (below), and Connecticut are here since there were a handful of regiments from those New England states in the corps.

View attachment 296983
These smaller and obscure monuments are some of my favorites within the Vicksburg National Military Park.
 

James N.

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#8
These smaller and obscure monuments are some of my favorites within the Vicksburg National Military Park.
I wouldn't particularly call these "small" unless compared with behemoths like the Illinois, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Iowa, etc., etc. State Monuments or the Union Navy, and Grant Circle where the general had his tent headquarters is a regular stop on the driving tour so I don't think it's in anything like an obscure location. But I agree that the state monuments here are among the most attractive for their size, particularly Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
 

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Interesting, but I believe the long-standing reasons concerning the placement of memorials was sufficiently explained in my first post. On the other hand, I'd tend to agree with the expressed thought that a likely better place for the monument might have been within the National Cemetery. There are certainly monuments and memorials within the bounds of other battlefield cemeteries, notably those at Gettysburg and Antietam among others, so I don't see any reason that it could not have been done at Vicksburg as well.
 

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#11
Interesting, but I believe the long-standing reasons concerning the placement of memorials was sufficiently explained in my first post. On the other hand, I'd tend to agree with the expressed thought that a likely better place for the monument might have been within the National Cemetery. There are certainly monuments and memorials within the bounds of other battlefield cemeteries, notably those at Gettysburg and Antietam among others, so I don't see any reason that it could not have been done at Vicksburg as well.
I found the interesting part calling Terry Winschel a confederate loyalist, suspect his tin foil cap is a bit snug...……
 
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#12
Interesting, but I believe the long-standing reasons concerning the placement of memorials was sufficiently explained in my first post. On the other hand, I'd tend to agree with the expressed thought that a likely better place for the monument might have been within the National Cemetery. There are certainly monuments and memorials within the bounds of other battlefield cemeteries, notably those at Gettysburg and Antietam among others, so I don't see any reason that it could not have been done at Vicksburg as well.
James, I don't see the comments you made above and those in the article I cited as being contradictory. Do you think they are?

- Alan
 
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#14
@ForeverFree do you have any recent articles about the monument and/or Park Staff? Have things changed since 2004? An important part of this story is that it was funded by the state of Mississippi which struggles to overcome its past but makes great strides.
Regards
David
No, I don't. Your question does make me want to revisit the subject. It certainly was significant that funding was provided by the state.

I have a friend who was born and raised in Natchez and we've had many discussions about MS and Civil War memory. (He was an extra in the movie Glory, by the way.) I get the impression that to him, things are always getting better, but Mississippi is Mississippi.
*************

Also of note, the Shiloh NPS complex in Corinth features a monument to a Contraband Camp and USCT. These are from the site:

B9E9093C-1DD8-B71C-0786BB45DEDF78AF-large.jpg

Statue and markers near the entrance to the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service;
see photo gallery here.

corinth-mississippi-civil-war-interpretive-center-12.jpg

Statues inside the Civil War Interpretive Center at Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi; featuring an African American Union soldier and a freedwoman taking a class.
Image Source: Photo/Copyright by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright. Photo is not in the public domain.


Reading.jpg

Statue of freedwoman and child reading a book at the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service;
see photo gallery here.

The Camp is a National Park Service (NPS) site, and part of the larger Shiloh National Park complex. This is from the NPS description of the site:
As Federal forces occupied major portions of the South, enslaved people escaped from farms and plantations and fled to safety behind Union lines. Once President Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued in September 1862, the number of freedom seekers increased considerably in Union occupied Corinth.The Corinth Contraband Camp was established by Union General Grenville M. Dodge to accommodate these refugees.​
The camp featured numerous homes, a church, school and hospital. The freedmen cultivated and sold cotton and vegetables in a progressive cooperative farm program. By May 1863, the camp was making a clear profit of $4,000 to $5,000 from it enterprises. By August, over 1,000 African American children and adults gained the ability to read through the efforts of various benevolent organizations.​
Although the camp had a modest beginning, it became a model camp and allowed for approximately 6,000 ex-slaves to establish their own individual identities. Once the Emancipation Proclamation was implemented, nearly 2,000 of the newly freed men at the Corinth Contraband Camp had their first opportunity to protect their way of life and made up a new regiment in the Union army. Since most of the men came from Alabama, the unit was named the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent, later re-designated the 55th United States Colored Troops.​
In December 1863, the camp was moved to Memphis and the freedmen resided in a more traditional refugee facility for the remainder of the war.​
The Corinth Contraband Camp was the first step on the road to freedom and the struggle for equality for thousands of former slaves.Today a portion of the historic Corinth Contraband Camp is preserved to commemorate those who began their journey to freedom there in 1862-1863. This land now hosts a quarter mile walkway which exhibits six life-size bronze sculptures depicting the men, women, and children who inhabited the camp.​
Contraband-Camp-statue.jpg

Statue of United States Colored Troops solider at the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
The 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent, later re-designated the 55th United States Colored Troops, was formed at the Corinth Camp.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service; see photo gallery here.


- Alan
 

James N.

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#16
James, I don't see the comments you made above and those in the article I cited as being contradictory. Do you think they are?

- Alan
Not the basic facts so much as the tone - the article sounded to me like more of the current whining and complaining about well-thought out and long-established rules and reasons for things that we now need to toss out or make exceptions for in order not to offend anybody. I made my subsequent posts with that in mind: When the parks at battlefields like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga-Chattanooga were created around 1900 there were purposefully commission members from several states representing both sections who hammered out those rules about things like monument placement and even that care was challenged over the years at places like Gettysburg especially as recounted here in previous threads. (Briefly, former Confederates were angry over not being allowed to locate their state monuments at the point of farthest penetration within Union lines, but required to place them at the point of origin of their attacks.) It galls me to now have these modern do-gooders raise these same hoary old questions again because they have NO idea what came before and think their ideas have sprung original and fully-formed from their heads like Athena from Zeus's.
 
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James N.

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#17
… I have a friend who was born and raised in Natchez and we've had many discussions about MS and Civil War memory. (He was an extra in the movie Glory, by the way.) I get the impression that to him, things are always getting better, but Mississippi is Mississippi.
*************

Also of note, the Shiloh NPS complex in Corinth features a monument to a Contraband Camp and USCT. These are from the site:

View attachment 297203
Statue and markers near the entrance to the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service;
see photo gallery here.

View attachment 297204
Statues inside the Civil War Interpretive Center at Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi; featuring an African American Union soldier and a freedwoman taking a class.
Image Source: Photo/Copyright by Carmen K. Sisson/Cloudybright. Photo is not in the public domain.


View attachment 297205
Statue of freedwoman and child reading a book at the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service;
see photo gallery here.

The Camp is a National Park Service (NPS) site, and part of the larger Shiloh National Park complex. This is from the NPS description of the site:
As Federal forces occupied major portions of the South, enslaved people escaped from farms and plantations and fled to safety behind Union lines. Once President Abraham Lincoln’s Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation was issued in September 1862, the number of freedom seekers increased considerably in Union occupied Corinth.The Corinth Contraband Camp was established by Union General Grenville M. Dodge to accommodate these refugees.​
The camp featured numerous homes, a church, school and hospital. The freedmen cultivated and sold cotton and vegetables in a progressive cooperative farm program. By May 1863, the camp was making a clear profit of $4,000 to $5,000 from it enterprises. By August, over 1,000 African American children and adults gained the ability to read through the efforts of various benevolent organizations.​
Although the camp had a modest beginning, it became a model camp and allowed for approximately 6,000 ex-slaves to establish their own individual identities. Once the Emancipation Proclamation was implemented, nearly 2,000 of the newly freed men at the Corinth Contraband Camp had their first opportunity to protect their way of life and made up a new regiment in the Union army. Since most of the men came from Alabama, the unit was named the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent, later re-designated the 55th United States Colored Troops.​
In December 1863, the camp was moved to Memphis and the freedmen resided in a more traditional refugee facility for the remainder of the war.​
The Corinth Contraband Camp was the first step on the road to freedom and the struggle for equality for thousands of former slaves.Today a portion of the historic Corinth Contraband Camp is preserved to commemorate those who began their journey to freedom there in 1862-1863. This land now hosts a quarter mile walkway which exhibits six life-size bronze sculptures depicting the men, women, and children who inhabited the camp.​
View attachment 297206
Statue of United States Colored Troops solider at the Corinth Contraband Camp, in Corinth, Mississippi.
The 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment of African Descent, later re-designated the 55th United States Colored Troops, was formed at the Corinth Camp.
Image Source: Corinth Contraband Camp, National Park Service; see photo gallery here.


- Alan
Seeing these I'm sorry @mkyzzzrdet and I didn't seek this out during our visit to Corinth last June, but we were somewhat put off by other aspects of our trip to the various Corinth NPS sites so figured this would be a bust too. I'd be interested to know more about your Natchez friend who was in Glory!
 
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#19
Not the basic facts so much as the tone - the article sounded to me like more of the current whining and complaining about well-thought out and long-established rules and reasons for things that we now need to toss out or make exceptions for in order not to offend anybody. I made my subsequent posts with that in mind: When the parks at battlefields like Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga-Chattanooga were created around 1900 there were purposefully commission members from several states representing both sections who hammered out those rules about things like monument placement and even that care was challenged over the years at places like Gettysburg especially as recounted here in previous threads. (Briefly, former Confederates were angry over not being allowed to locate their state monuments at the point of farthest penetration within Union lines, but required to place them at the point of origin of their attacks.) It galls me to now have these modern do-gooders raise these same hoary old questions again because they have NO idea what came before and think their ideas have sprung original and fully-formed from their heads like Athena from Zeus's.
I have a totally different take on what the article is saying, but that would get us into modern politics, so I'll leave it alone.

- Alan
 



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