The March 1865 arrival of Union troops to UVA and Charlottesville, the liberation of the area’s enslaved community, and the lives of local Black men who served as Union soldiers and sailors were at the center of a panel conversation commemorating Liberation and Freedom Day in Albemarle County, Virginia.
On March 3, Jalane Schmidt, director of the Memory Project, introduced the expert panel moderated by Caroline E. Janney, history professor and director of UVA’s Nau Center for Civil War History. Ervin L. Jordan, Jr., associate professor and research archivist at UVA’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, discussed emancipation and citizenship initiatives among local African Americans. William B. Kurtz, managing director and digital historian at the Nau Center, spoke about the Civil War service and lives of the 256 Black Union soldiers and sailors from Albemarle County. The Center’s project, Black Virginians in Blue, will officially launch with a two day conference on April 13-14.
A video recording of our event is now available on demand: