Monday, August 9, 2010

USCT Pennsylvania Grand Review

From the website of the Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission:
November 14, 1865 was a great day for the United States Colored Troops (USCT) who served with the Union during the Civil War. After having been excluded from the "Grand Review of the Armies" in Washington D.C., held for the Union troops on May 23-24, 1865, they were invited to attend a Grand Review held in their honor on November 14, 1865 in Harrisburg, PA.
The "Pennsylvania Grand Review" in Harrisburg, was organized by the women living in Harrisburg at the time. When the day of the review arrived, the USCT were led through town by Grand Marshal Thomas Morris Chester, who briefly served as a Captain in a Harrisburg company raised by the African American community in 1863. Grand Marshal Chester led the troops to Senator Simon Cameron's house to be recognized.
On November 3-7, 2010, the city of Harrisburg will again host a Grand Review to honor and remember the brave men from the USCT who served during the Civil War. The event will consist of a reenactment of the Grand Review as well as exhibitions, presentations and conservation projects.
100 Voices is one such project. 100 Voices honors the memory and lives of 100 USCT soldiers from across Pennsylvania. Find more information about the Grand Review and 100 Voices at the House Divided webpage or the visitPA webpage.
Pennsylvania Grand Review 2010
Tentative Schedule of Events
November 1 - Camp Curtin Church, Harrisburg
Hallowed Ground Project; help to clean up the cemeteries that are now home to the brave USCT soldiers. Participating cemeteries roundtable: TBD
November 2 - Harrisburg University
Genealogy Project seminar: a short, but intensive course of study on researching genealogy.
November 3 - Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, Harrisburg
Act 48 In-Service workshop: a course emphasizing free discussion, exchange of ideas, demonstration of methods and practical application of skills
November 4 - National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg
Network to Freedom Annual Meeting colloquium: dialogue with partners
November 5 - State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
USCT Conference symposium: a meeting at which several speakers deliver short addresses on related topics.
November 5 - Harrisburg Transportation Center
White Carnation Society - Martin Delany Luncheon gathering: an assembly of people for social, educational or political purposes.
November 5 - Midtown Scholar Book Store, Harrisburg
Live & Learn Event salon: a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings
November 6 - Soldiers' & Sailors' Grove / Simon Cameron House, Harrisburg
USCT Parade reenactment: participants attempt to recreate some aspects of the original parade.
November 6 - Commonwealth Keystone Building Atrium, Harrisburg
Heritage Fair Chautauqua: entertainment and culture for the whole community; come listen to speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, humanists and specialists of the day
November 6 - Strawberry Square, Harrisburg (7 - 8:30 p.m.)
Promenade: The opening dance to any period ball, the promenade allows guests to see who is in attendance and admire their clothing and accessories.
November 6 - Strawberry Square, Harrisburg (8:30 - 11 p.m.)
Ball: a formal social gathering concentrated around dancing
November 7 - Whitaker Center, Harrisburg
Women's luncheon forum: a medium of open discussion aimed at enlightenment of its members
November 14 - Cemetery Wreath Laying Events: TBD
November 19 -Soldiers' National Cemetery, Gettysburg
Wreath Laying Event: TBD
*Events as listed on the Facebook page for the USCT Pennsylvania Grand Review.*


  1. I am looking forward to the Nov. 6 events. I am also a speaker on the USCT at the Heritage Chautauqua eveents in the afternoon. I am the author of The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison. Over half of the 103 USCT troops in the Prison were from Pennsylvania!
    Bob O'Connor

  2. I never heard that the USCT were excluded from the Grand Review at Washington City. Have you any more details about that?

  3. Bob,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I wish I could attend the review, but I have prior commitments. I’ve been meaning to check out your book for quite some time now. If you ever feel like sending out a free copy, just let me know 


    While there were some African Americans who marched in the Grand Review (most of whom were former slaves who had followed Sherman’s army), USCT units were spread throughout the South where they would remain on duty garrisoning posts and enforcing Reconstruction policy until they were disbanded in 1867. The first chapter of Stuart McConnell’s Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865-1900 goes into more detail on this topic.