Driving & Walking Tours | Monuments | John Hunt Morgan in Kentucky | Fort Heiman
Frankfort, KY
40. Colored Soldiers Monument or
Kentucky African American Civil War Veterans Monument
Green Hill Cemetery, Frankfort (Franklin)
Limestone column on poured concrete base, 1924
Front Inscription: Erected by Woman’s Relief Corps No. 8 GAR July 1924. Monument Com. E. T. Strauss, President, N. C. Coleman, Sec., L. C. Redding, Mary L. Brooks, Clara C. McWilliams, Susan Butcher, Sallie Handy, Kate Richardson. In Memory of the Colored Soldiers Franklin County, Kentucky Who Fought in the Civil War 1861-1865.
Inscriptions on remaining three sides: (Names of 142 African American Civil War soldiers from central Kentucky)
frankfort.JPG (13819 bytes) Erected by the Colored Women's Relief Corps No. 8 of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1924, this marker is the only monument to Kentucky African American Civil War soldiers and one of only four monuments to African American Civil War soldiers in the nation. Newspaper accounts covering the unveiling ceremony reported that the cost of "several hundred dollars" was contributed by "patriotic and public-spirited citizens of both races."

The monument is a simple tapered shaft, ornamented with the seal of the Grand Army of the Republic on the front and featuring the names of 142 African American soldiers from central Kentucky on the other three sides.

The contribution of African American Civil War soldiers in Kentucky was great, comprising nearly one-third of all Kentuckians who served in the Union forces. This is particularly remarkable since the recruiting of African American soldiers was not allowed in Kentucky until March 1, 1864 (some African Americans who wished to enlist before this time, did so out-of-state). 23,703 Kentucky African Americans served in 23 Union regiments. Impressively, only the state of Louisiana provided more black recruits than Kentucky. Enlistment in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) also granted emancipation for enslaved Kentuckians, though attempting to flee to one of the ten USCT recruiting camps in the state was a very difficult and dangerous task for a fugitive slave.

Research the history of African American soldiers in Kentucky during the Civil War. (A good Internet search would be "Camp Nelson.") Create a bulletin board for the classroom or library with information you have learned, including as many illustrations (photocopies or original student art) as possible.

Create a graph of the number of African American soldiers enrolled in each state.

In 1998, the African American Civil War Memorial by Louisville sculptor Ed Hamilton was dedicated in Washington, D. C. Search the Internet or local newspapers/magazines for photographs of this major national sculpture. How has the artist depicted the impact war has on the families of the soldiers? How did the outcome of the Civil War effect the families of the USCT?

41. Confederate Soldier Monument
Frankfort Cemetery (Franklin County)
White marble figure on granite pedestal and limestone base, 1892
frankfort1.JPG (11532 bytes)
Inscriptions: Our Confederate Dead 1861 - 1865 -
They sleep what need to question now, If they were right or wrong? They know ere this whose cause was just in god, The fathers sight: They wield no warlike weapons now, Return no foeman’s thrust: Who but a coward would revile, An honored soldier's dust.
To every man upon this earth, Death cometh soon or late, And how can man die better, Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his Gods? Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.
This marble minstrels voiceful stone, In deathless songs shall tell, When many a vanished age hath flown, The story how ye fell, Nor wreck nor change nor winter blight, Nor times remorseless doom, Shall one ray of holy light, That gilds your glorious tomb.

This is one of at least seven Kentucky monuments to include excerpts from the famous poem, The Bivouac of the Dead, by Kentuckian Theodore O'Hara (see the entry for the Confederate Monument at Perryville State Historic Site, #47, for more information on the poem).

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