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Pennsylvania African-Americans in the Fight for Freedom

This program, presented by Peter C. Miele, Chief Operating Officer and Director of Education, Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg, aims to illuminate some of the finer points of African-American experience in the Civil War. African-Americans, in many cases, displayed enthusiasm about serving their country during the Civil War, viewing it as a way to destroy the institution of slavery and fight for equal rights. The white northern Federal government and general public, on the other hand, were not energetic about the prospect, preventing African-Americans from serving in uniform until the second year of the war. This discussion examines these barriers to service and looks at three specific instances of African-American service as it relates to Pennsylvania, namely the experience of Pennsylvania men in the 54th Massachusetts, the organization of a company of African-Americans at Gettysburg, and the combat of two companies of men who fought at Wrightsville during the Confederate invasion. This program will be held in the Robert C. Hoffman Community Room.

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