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African American Soldiers Remembered at Henrico Battlefield

Unidentified African American Veteran and Two Children
Unidentified African American veteran and two children. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

A portion of Henrico’s New Market Heights Battlefield, where African American Soldiers fought on the side of the Union Army, has been set aside to be preserved in perpetuity.

As union soldiers marched on Richmond, a brigade of the United States Colored Troops as they were officially called, stormed the Confederates just south of New Market Road. "They were in the front line," said Julie Langan, Director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

photo of wooded hill and stream
View of Creek on the Rock Tract. (Photo: Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

They ran through open fields, over marsh lands and wooded ravines, dodged Confederate artillery fire and captured the hilltop.  Now, the American Battlefield Trust has conveyed the easement to that land to the Commonwealth.

"This is among the very first properties to receive perpetual protection that has association with the United States Colored Troops." said Langan, and someday, she says, it could have a walking trail, a plaque, even a monument.