RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In honor of Black History Month, the Virginia War Memorial had a special program on Tuesday about African-American troops who played a big role in the Union’s victory during the American Civil War.
People of all ages came to listen about how African-Americans went from slavery to forever free. Speakers shared the legacy of black troops who fought in the Commonwealth.
“I thought it was very brave and honorable,” said 4th-grader Aamyah Jones.
In a packed room full of veterans and family, it wasn’t hard to spot the youngest in the crowd sitting next to her granddad.
“I was excited because we are learning that in school so it will help me on my test,” Jones said.
“I thought it would be a life learning experience for her as well as for me,” said Crewls Crewley, Jones’ granddad.
It was a learning experience for two veterans as well. “I served in the Navy for 26 years and we did not learn about the color regiments and color in the military,” said Webster Eallare.
Tonight, that all changed.
“179,000 African American soldiers in UNION service,” Jones said.
That number is according to the University of Virginia’s Civil War History and 5,700 of those troops were African-Americans from Virginia.
“They did the unbelievable,” Crewley said.
The Civil War ended in 1865 but the service of these courageous men lives on.
Jones was given the challenge to give a presentation to her family this Sunday by her granddad after they both attended the event at the Virginia War Memorial.