African American Civil War Memorial Museum to celebrate annual U.S. Colored Troops Founder’s DayWreath Laying Program, marking the May 22, 1863 day the U.S. War Department created the Bureau of U.S. Colored Troops during the American Civil War, and host the Washington, DC launch of the UNESCO Global Launch of Legacies of Slavery: A Resource Book for Managers of Sites and Itineraries of Memory, 5:00 PM-8:00 PM EDT, Wed., May 22, 2019, in Washington, DC

The African American Civil War Memorial Museum will celebrate Founders Day on May 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM with a wreath laying at the Memorial’s Wall of Honor followed by a lecture by Founding Director Frank Smith, Jr. on the General Orders No. 143, that established the Bureau of United States Colored Troops in the U.S. War Department during the Civil War.

Founders Day will also be joined by the Washington, DC Launch of UNESCO’s Global Launch of a free web publication, Legacies of Slavery: A Resource Book for Managers of Sites and Itineraries of Memory, a comparative analysis of various sites, projects, programs of international significance and best organizational practices worldwide. The African American Civil War Memorial Museum is among the featured sites in the Nation’s Capital in the book.

Download the latest draft of the Resource Book (PDF) (22 MB) at:

Peter Hanes, Vice President of DC Reading Is Fundamental, Inc., and an African American History educational activist, is the DC Launch coordinator. Peter will present an informative and exciting program for the UNESCO Global Launch. “We are honored to join Dr. Frank Smith to reflect on an important day that helped pave the way for African American soldiers to fight for freedom, commend Frank’s pioneering and excellent leadership for preserving, commemorating and interpreting the valiant stories of African American contributions to the Civil War, and greatly appreciate his hosting the DC Launch of this new international educational resource,” said Peter Hanes.

“On May 22, 1863 in order to implement the enforcement clause of the Emancipation Proclamation which is paragraph #6 of the Emancipation Proclamation General Order 143 was development by the War Department during the Civil War” said Frank Smith, Founding Director.

To implement paragraph six of the Proclamation the Bureau of United States Colored Troops (USCT) was established as a separate branch of the United States Army. It was from the official records of the Bureau of United States Colored Troops of the National Archives in Washington that the African American Civil War Memorial museum obtained the 209,145 soldier names that are enrolled on the Wall of Honor of the memorial at 10th and U Street NW in Washington.

Approximately 200,000 African American soldiers enrolled under with order approximately 150,000 of whom were enslaved by the Constitution of the United States when the Civil War started and had no pathway to freedom and citizenship before the Civil War. The war and the Proclamation allowed the USCT soldiers to march through paragraph six of the Emancipation Proclamation into the US Army where they were examined, trained, outfitted and deployed on the field of battle where they would fight their way from slavery to freedom and citizenship.

General Orders No. 143 also provided for Boards to be established Examining Boards to recruit persons for training for officers to command Colored Troops who needed to submit applications with letters of reference. The Order also provided for the War Department to authorize agents to recruit for Colored Troops who would be organized into regiments that will numbered seriatim and be designated “Regiment of US Colored Troops”. Recruiting Stations and Depots were also established by the Order.

The program is from starts with reception at the Museum from 5:00 to 6:00 pm followed by the wreath laying at 6 pm at the memorial Wall of Honor. The Wreath Laying will be followed by the program at the museum from 6:30 to 8 pm.

For more information, call the museum at 202-667-2667 or Peter Hanes email: