(Washington, D.C.) - February offers Civil War enthusiasts two unique perspectives on the study of history, as sites around the country offer special programming to commemorate the role of African Americans in the conflict for Black History Month, as well as mark the achievements of our nation's leaders on Presidents' Day. The Civil War Trust recommends the following seven sites, programs and events for your consideration.
Freedom's Diaries: Diaries of Free African Americans from the Antebellum and Civil War Era - February 7
Reginald F. Lewis Museum, Baltimore, Md.
On February 7, guests will have the opportunity to hear rare accounts of everyday life for free African- Americans during the Antebellum and Civil War eras through the diaries of Emilie Frances Davis and James F. Brown.
"The Whipping Man" Theatre Production - February 7 to 21
Johnson Theatre, Nashville, Tenn.
The Nashville Repertory Theater production follows three men, a Jewish Confederate soldier and two of his family's former slaves, through the struggle to understand their shift in relationships in the post-Civil War South. Learn more.
An Evening with Sojourner Truth - February 11
Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vt.
Sojourner Truth - abolitionist, women's rights activist, scout and recruiter for Union troops - will be the focal point of a portrayal lead by living historian Kathryn Woods. Woods will utilize spiritual music and Truth's works to recreate her life.
Presidents' Day Weekend Celebration - February 13 to 16
Colonial Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Va.
Visit Williamsburg for an exciting weekend of celebration and stories in honor of those who helped shape our country in to what it is today. Get a firsthand perspective from our Founding Fathers, who were willing to risk everything for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Lincoln, Douglas and the U.S. Colored Troops in Action - February 19
New York Historical Society, New York, N.Y.
Historian and author Harold Holzer will moderate a discussion on the contributions and struggles of the United States Colored Troops, who were recruited for the first time under the terms of the Emancipation Proclamation. Learn more.
African-Americans in Medicine During the Civil War - February 21
Clara Baton Missing Soldiers Office, Washington, D.C.
The President of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, Betsy Estilow, will conduct a presentation on the contributions to medical service made by African-Americans during the Civil War. The lecture will cover their work as caregivers, nurses, and doctors in both the Union and the Confederacy. Learn more.
From Servitude to Service - February 21
Mansfield State Historic Site, Mansfield, La.
During the Civil War, Louisiana supplied large numbers of "free men of color" and recently freed slaves to the Union army. Guests will learn about those men through a presentation on the U.S. Colored Troops who served in Louisiana and through screenings of portions of the film "Glory." Learn more.
The Civil War Discovery Trail, a network of more than 600 sites in 34 states, the District of Columbia and three international destinations, is an excellent resource in planning visits for February and beyond. Explore Civil War history and plan your next trip online at www.civilwar.org/heritagesites.
The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America's hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 40,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.
The Civil War Preservation Trust became the Civil War Trust in January 2011; the Civil War Trust became a division of the American Battlefield Trust in May 2018. Campaign 1776 was created in 2014 as an initiative of the Civil War Trust; in May 2018 it became the Revolutionary War Trust, a division of the American Battlefield Trust.