A roster of special events and programs throughout the Hershey Harrisburg Region will commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the end of the American Civil War in 2015 by honoring the significant people, places, and events of the war.
Dauphin County commemorates the end of the American Civil War with roster of special events in 2015.
HARRISBURG, PA – Dauphin County Commissioner Chairman Jeff Haste today announced a roster of special events and programs taking place throughout the Hershey Harrisburg Region in 2015 in honor of the 150th Anniversary of the end of America’s Civil War.
During the kickoff event held at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Commissioner Haste noted this year marks the final year of the county’s “Freedom Jubilee” commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
One of the main events will be the recreation of the "Grand Review" on November 14, 2015 at the John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion, according to Nicole McMullen, executive director of the Historical Society of Dauphin County.
According to McMullen there was a "Grand Review" of soldiers from the Civil War held in Washington, DC in 1865, but the 180,000 black troops who served weren't invited. Simon Cameron, a former Pennsylvania senator who had served as Lincoln's war secretary until 1862, organized a Grand Review of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in Harrisburg on November 14, 1865 that honored troops from 25 states at his home located along the Susquehanna River. Thomas Morris Chester, Harrisburg’s most distinguished African American at the time served as grand marshal for the parade.
The National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg also has several events planned including the dedication of a figure of an African-American soldier with a Harrisburg connection that will take place at the museum on May 27, 2015. The museum commissioned the work to represent South Carolina native Ephraim Slaughter, who served in the 37th U.S. Colored Troops and lived in Harrisburg for 74 years after the Civil War. The Ephraim Slaughter American Legion Post 733 in Harrisburg is named after him. The figure is being created by Taylor Studios of Illinois and was funded with a grant obtained by the museum and the Historical Society of Dauphin County, according to Wayne Motts, CEO of The National Civil War Museum. Slaughter came to Harrisburg in 1869 and died at age 97 on Feb. 17, 1943. According to Motts, Slaughter is buried in Penbrook, PA and represents the last Civil War veteran to die in Dauphin County.
Special events will also be held at the Dauphin County cemeteries where U.S. Colored Troops, Tuskegee airmen and others are buried, according to Barbara Barksdale of Pennsylvania Hallowed Grounds. That includes a memorial service in Midland Cemetery on May 23, 2015.
The State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg will be hosting the exhibit "Stories From the Heart," which includes personal stories about U.S. Colored Troops from Pennsylvania. The exhibit traveled around the state in a tractor-trailer and will now be making its permanent home in Harrisburg, according to museum officials.
Dauphin County 150th anniversary programs:
April 12: Presentation on Lincoln Funeral Train by Joseph Garrera, 3 p.m. at Harris-Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg.
May 23: Friends of Midland Cemetery's annual Veterans Memorial Service, 1 p.m., 206 Kelker St., Swatara Township. The U.S. Colored Troops, Buffalo Soldiers and others will take part.
May 29: Bethel Trail book signing by Dr. Michael Barton and exhibit of family histories. Harris-Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg; time to be announced.
May 30: Ephraim Slaughter Parade, noon. The parade will start at Camp Curtin Academy School, Sixth and Division streets, and proceed down Sixth to Harris Street to the Ephraim Slaughter American Legion Post 733. Light refreshments will be served.
Nov. 14: Grand Review Program, with actor portraying Simon Cameron and open house with Victorian dance ensemble. Harris-Cameron Mansion, 219 S. Front St., Harrisburg; time to be announced.
National Civil War Museum programs:
April 11: Program on the Wilmington campaign.
June 20: Exhibit opens on Robert Smalls, a former slave who commandeered a Confederate ship in Charleston harbor, and carry former slaves to freedom.
June 13-14: Seminary Ridge Museum in Gettysburg hosts a "White Carnation" program to commemorate family descendants of U.S. Colored Troops in Pennsylvania.
July 10: The film "Glory" will be shown in Broad Street Market.
June 22: "Camp Curtin and Harrisburg's role in the Civil War," 6 p.m. at Camp Curtin Church, 2221 N. Sixth St., Harrisburg, hosted by Historic Harrisburg Association.