Grand Review 2010 – Lancaster County

On November 14, 2010 Lancaster County held a ceremonies at Shreiner-Concord and Stevens Greenland Cemeteries to honor those men who served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. If you were unable to attend, check out the videos and pictures below

Professor Leroy Hopkins (Millersville University) discusses African-American heritage in Lancaster

Other Video Clips

Click one of the links below to watch one of the other videos:

“A. Lee Brinson playing Sgt. Jonathan Sweeney (1832-1915), a black Civil War Soldier”

“Michael Laverty talking about Sgt. Jonathan Sweeney (1832-1915) a Civil War Black Soldier”

“Darlene Colon playing Lydia Hamilton Smith at Ceremony Honoring Black Civil War Soldiers”

“Ross Hetrick, president of the Thaddeus Stevens Society, Talks at Ceremony Honoring Black Soldiers”


Slideshow – Pictures from Shreiner Cemetery and Stevens Greenland Cemetery

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Grand Review 2010 – Columbia, PA

On November 14, 2010 a ceremony in Columbia, Pennsylvania honored those men who served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. See photographs from this event in the slideshow below.

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Grand Review 2010 – Hallowed Ground Events

In November 2010 events were held in several Pennsylvania counties to commemorate those who served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. Some of the brochures can be downloaded as PDF files below:

Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburgh, PA (November 14, 2010)

Eastern Light Cemetery, Altoona, PA (November 14, 2010)

Bellefonte, PA (November 3, 2010)

Governor Edward Rendell’s remarks at Historic Eden Cemetery (November 14, 2010)

Riverview Cemetery, Huntingdon, PA (November 14, 2010)

The photographs below are from the event held at Allegheny Cemetery:
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(Images Courtesy of Heinz History Center)

Grand Review 2010 – Press

A number of media groups filed reports on the Pennsylvania Grand Review that took place in Harrisburg last week between November 4 – 7. “Saturday’s colorful parade touched everyone who saw it,” as Charles Thompson of the Patriot-News explains. The parade on November 6 included over 100 reenactors, which as Thompson notes, makes the Grand Review “one of the largest gatherings of U.S. Colored Troops reenactors anywhere.” “Recalling these soldiers now — at the onset of what surely will be five years of reflection on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War — underscores the value of their special role in fighting that war and the historic role played by Harrisburg,” as the Patriot-News Editorial Board observes. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell also attended the event.


Click on the links below to watch the videos

ABC 27 News

CBS 21 News

Patriot-News Video



Read other articles about the Grand Review from newspapers across the state

Altoona Mirror, November 15, 2010

“A group of veterans from across the state got their due homage Sunday afternoon… During a ceremony at Huntingdon’s Riverview Cemetery, five new headstones for Civil War Colored Troops veterans were dedicated after the original headstones became unreadable.” Click here to full article

Centre Daily Times, November 15, 2010

“Marking the 145th anniversary of that event, Sunday’s review in Bellefonte was one of several held across the state to recognize the more than 8,000 men from 11 black regiments who represented Pennsylvania in the Civil War. Of those men, 25 received the Medal of Honor.” Click here to full article

Daily Local News, November 16, 2010 (Chester County)

“Sunday’s event included re-enactors, such as the Bradbury Camp Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Bill Vosselers’s Confederate Civil War Re-enactment, and a group of students from Cheyney University portraying two black Union soldiers…. During her invocation, the Rev. Delores J. Loper said that as she looked out on the ground before her, it was clear many had died so we could enjoy freedom.” Click here to full article

Delco Times, November 15, 2010

“Eden also serves as the final resting place for the most black Civil War veterans in Pennsylvania — possibly the most Civil War veterans of any color or creed in the state. On Sunday members of the 3rd Regiment U.S. Colored Troops Civil War re-enactors honored them with a rifle salute and wreath-laying as part of a 150th anniversary observance of the Civil War.” Click here to full editorial Also see this article about the event.

Meadville Tribune, November 15, 2010

“Inscribed on the stone is the statement of its purpose: “In Honor of the United States Colored Troops of the Civil War Buried in Crawford County.” Those memorials were dedicated during a special ceremony Sunday in Greendale Cemetery, one of 42 cemeteries throughout Pennsylvania that hosted public services to pay respect to the roles and sacrifices of African-Americans who enlisted and fought in the Civil War.” Click here to full article


Grand Review Times Supplement

Check out the supplement “Grand Review Times: A Call for the Descendants of USCT Troops from Camp William Penn 1863 to the Harrisburg Grand Review, 1865” that appeared in the March 22, 2010 issue of ShowcaseNow! Magazine. You can read a short essay entitled “Laying the Groundwork for the USCT: Lincoln and Emancipation,” read several descendants’ profiles, and learn more about how to get involved in this event. (Adobe Reader must be installed on your computer in order to read this document.)

(Courtesy of & ShowcaseNow! Magazine)
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Article in Patriot News

The Patriot News recently published an article about plans for the Grand Review in November 2010 –

  • “A group of African-American women in Harrisburg declared public outrage, and then held their own grand review, officially sanctioned by the U.S. Army. Hundreds of black soldiers from 25 states held an encampment and marched through Harrisburg on Nov. 14, 1865. They started near where Soldiers Grove now stands behind the Capitol, said Harrisburg researcher Calobe Jackson. That balmy day they marched through downtown and ended at Simon Cameron’s mansion. On Nov. 5-7, Harrisburg will hold a reenactment of the grand review and exhibitions. The event will feature presentations and conservation projects to honor the U.S. Colored Troops and tell their stories.”

Read the full article here.

Press Release Detailing 2010 Grand Review

News for Immediate Release

Jan. 15, 2010

PA Tourism Office Invites Public to Help Tell the Stories of U.S. Colored Troops Members

In Gettysburg, Agency Launches Search for Descendants

Gettysburg – The Pennsylvania Tourism Office is searching for the families of James Shirk of Shippensburg, Enoch Watson of Lancaster, and Robert Bridges Forten of Philadelphia, as well as the relatives of tens of thousands of other men who fought in the Civil War as members of the United States Colored Troops.

The Colored Troops were regiments of the U.S. Army that were comprised of free blacks and freed slaves; the soldiers reinforced the Union army in the final two years of the Civil War.

During a visit to St. Paul AME Zion Church—a site regarded as the center of black life and culture in Gettysburg during the 19th century—Department of Community and Economic Development Deputy Secretary for Tourism Mickey Rowley said the commonwealth wants to tell the stories of those men and announced the state is launching an effort to locate their descendants.

“Shirk, Watson, and Forten are just three of the 180,000 members of the Colored Troops who fought in the Civil War,” said Rowley. “Now is the time to create a conversation among the families of these troops, among the communities they called home, and among those who are unaware of this vital piece of American history.”

The St. Paul AME Zion Church was home to the “Slave Refugee Society,” a group established in 1840 to “help those who sought freedom from the ‘tyrannical yoke of oppression.’”

The descendants will be included in a year-long commemoration – called the Pennsylvania Grand Review – that will include exhibitions, presentations and conservation projects that will reveal the hidden histories of the troops.

The Grand Review will serve as a commemoration of the November 1865 event of the same name. It was organized by the women of Harrisburg to honor the United States Colored Troops who were not permitted to participate in the Grand Review of the Armies, a military procession and celebration held May 23-24, 1865, in Washington, D.C., following the end of the Civil War.

“We have designed the Grand Review to reconnect the families of the USCT with their history, conserve the gravesites of these troops, and share this piece of history with a new generation of Americans,” Rowley said. “Our commemoration will culminate Nov. 5-7 with a reenactment, parade, and living history presentations, followed by a wreath-laying on Nov. 19 at the grave of Charles Parker, one of only two United States Colored Troops buried at National Cemetery in Gettysburg.”

Descendants of the United States Colored Troops should call 1-800-VISIT-PA and provide their contact information, which will include them in this special year-long commemoration of these African-American patriots.

Rowley noted that the Grand Review is being made possible by the generous support of Amtrak, which provided $25,000 for promotional support and development along with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council that supplied $16,000 for a symposium of scholars, educators, and enthusiasts.

Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. For information, contact Lenwood Sloan, director of cultural and heritage tourism at the Department of Community and Economic Development, at 717-720-1313 or at

The Grand Review has been created in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, PA Dutch Country Roads, the Senator John Heinz History Center, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Concerned Black Men of PA, Partnership for Sacred Spaces, Institute for Cultural Partnerships, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Civil War 150 Consortium, Historical Society of Dauphin County, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, Jump Street Inc., Harrisburg 150, and the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Northern Appalachian Studies.

The Pennsylvania Tourism Office, under DCED, is dedicated to inspiring travel to the State of Independence. For more information, go to or call (800) VISIT PA; become a fan at, follow us at, share photos at, or watch us on For a free subscription to Pursuits Magazine, go to

Media contact: Michael Chapaloney, 717-720-1301

Editor’s Note: For additional Pennsylvania tourism story ideas, follow us at