THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
The Phoenix Historical Society will present its annual November Educational Program at 7 p.m. today at the Edgecombe County Veterans Military Museum. The program is the "36th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) and the Battle of New Market Heights."
Dr. James K. Bryant II of Wilmington, the author of "The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops in the Civil War: A History and Roster", will be the keynote speaker.
PHS research has identified 20 Edgecombe County natives who served in the 36th USCT (originally called 2nd N.C. Colored Volunteers), described by one observer as a "model regiment."
"The 36th USCT was among those regiments of black soldiers that played a key role in the successful attack on Confederate defenses at New Market Heights, Va, southeast of Richmond on Sept. 29, 1864," Jim Wrenn of the Phoenix Historical Society said.
Three Edgecombe natives died of wounds received in this attack. Two soldiers of the 36th USCT (not from Edgecombe) were among the 14 black soldiers who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their actions in this battle.
Later the 36th USCT was the first Union regiment to enter the city limits of Richmond after the fall of the Confederate capital on April 2, 1865.
Dr. Bryant will also describe the significance of the 36th USCT in terms of the journey from slavery to freedom for these soldiers.