COLUMBIA, Tenn. (AP/WMOT) — The names of 54 African-American soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War had their names added to a war memorial at the Maury County Courthouse in Columbia over the weekend.
The soldiers were members of the United States Colored Troops regiments that fought for the Union during the conflict.
Jo Ann Williams McClellan, President of the African American Heritage Society of Maury County, says that as far as she knows Maury is the first county in the state to add the names of African-American soldiers to its Civil War memorial.
“And I just hope that there are other counties in Tennessee that will do the same thing, because these men were the first to fight for our civil rights. And I think it was a wonderful way to, 150 years later, to thank them for what they did for us.”
McClellan says several ancestors of the men honored were present during the ceremony, and some applauded as their relatives' names were read aloud.
The names of four white soldiers, not previously honored, were also recently added to the monument.