U.S. Colored Troops re-enactors to march into Richmond for 150th anniversary events
3/26/2015, 12:51 p.m.
A four-day commemoration in Richmond organized by a coalition of organizations called The Future of Richmond’s Past will mark the 150th anniversary of the liberation of Richmond, ending its role as the epicenter of the slave trade.
A major highlight will be the “Blue Coats Parade,” starting 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 4. It is a commemorative procession along East Main and Bank streets from Rockett’s Landing to the State Capitol to follow the route of the United States
Colored Troops who led the Union Army in liberating Confederate-held Richmond. Re-enactors will march west along East Main Street, follow 14th Street to Bank Street and enter Capitol Square along 9th Street between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Contemporary military units will join the procession.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe will make remarks and will be joined by the choir from Virginia Union University and others in a ceremony from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on the Capitol Portico.
Other venues across the state also will commemorate the sesquicentennial of the surrender of the Southern army under Gen. Robert E. Lee on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Courthouse.
The events April 1-4 in Richmond will include programs, tours of the city’s historic areas and an evening projection of images on modern Downtown buildings representing fires that burned as the city was evacuated.
The full schedule will be available at www.OnToRichmond.com and www.RichmondsJourney.org. Most programs and tours begin on the grounds of the State Capitol.
Wednesday, April 1
“Christian Perspectives on Faith, Then and Now”: 7 to 8:30 p.m., 2nd Presbyterian Church, 5 N. 5th St.: Exploring the meaning of the end of enslavement and the Civil War in Richmond through the lens of the faith community.
Thursday, April 2
• “Richmond Burning”: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 815 E. Grace St.: Exploring the story of the Confederate evacuation, featuring remarks by Dr. Nelson Lankford of the Virginia Historical Society, author of “Richmond Burning.”
• Jefferson Davis and the Confederate Evacuation: 1 to 2:30 p.m., meet in front of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 815 E. Grace St.: Retrace the steps Confederate President Jefferson Davis took just prior to the evacuation of Richmond.
• “So Foul and Fair a Day – The Fall of Richmond”: 3 to 5 p.m., American Civil War Museum/White House of the Confederacy, 1201 E. Clay St.: Explore the final days of the Confederate capital and the first days of the liberating Union troops through a walking tour.
• The Burning of Richmond: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., tour starts at Bank and Governor streets: An evening illumination of Richmond’s Downtown cityscape will represent the evacuation fires with projected images on modern buildings. Guided lantern tours and re-enactors will give tourists the experience of the horrors of the fires.
Friday, April 3
• The Union Army’s Advance into Richmond: 6 to 8 a.m. and 9 to 11 a.m., Richmond National Battlefield Park’s Fort Harrison Visitor Center, 8621 Battlefield Park Road in Henrico County: This tour will follow the route of the Union Army’s march into Richmond in the morning hours of April 3, 1865. Registration is $20. Seating is limited. Reservations: (804) 771-2035.
• The Union Capture of Richmond: 9:30 to 11 a.m., tour starts at the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square, 1000 Bank St. This tour along city streets explores the reactions of Union soldiers as they seized the capital of the Confederacy.
• Living history public theatre: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., various sites, mostly in Downtown: Small teams of re-enactors will appear at historically significant sites in the city.
• The Civilians’ Experience: 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., tour starts at the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square, 1000 Bank St.: This tour will review the experiences and reactions among Richmond’s civilian population during the climactic first two weeks of April 1865.
• Davis and Lincoln: A Themed Tour of the White House of the Confederacy, 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 to 3:15 p.m., 1201 E. Clay St. (free parking at VCU Medical Center, 550 N. 12 St.): This tour will examine Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis as politicians, leaders, husbands and fathers. Limit 25 people per tour, advance registration required. Details: www.moc.org/RVA150.
• The United States Colored Troops Legacy of National Redemption and Democracy: noon to 1 p.m., National Park Service Visitor Center at Historic Tredegar, 470 Tredegar St.: Asa Gordon, Secretary General of the Sons and Daughters of United States Colored Troops, will discuss the civil rights legacy of the black troops.
• The Life and Career of Godfrey Weitzel: noon to 1 p.m., American Civil War Museum/White House of the Confederacy, 1201 E. Clay St.: Author G. William Quatman explores the liberation of Richmond from the perspective of Union Maj. Gen. Weitzel, who led the liberating troops into Richmond.
• A Photographic Tour of Capitol Square, 1865, 1 to 2:30 p.m., meet at the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square, 1000 Bank St.: More than 40 photographs were made in and around Capitol Square in 1865. This tour will examine what those photographers saw.
• The Federal Occupation of Richmond: 3 to 4:30 p.m., meet at the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square, 1000 Bank St.: This walking tour explores the reactions and thoughts of the Union troops as they struggled to restore order to Richmond after its liberation.
4 to 11:30 p.m., Shockoe Bottom and the African Burial Ground, both sides of the 1500 block of E. Broad Street: An evening program to observe the 150th anniversary of emancipation in Richmond and to pay ancestral homage.
Highlights of the program are as follows:
• Waking Up Tomorrow: Resistance and Liberation in Shockoe Bottom, 4 to 5:15 p.m., beginning at the Devil’s Half Acre, Lumpkin’s Jail: This procession symbolically creates a Sacred Ground Memorial Park while marking sites related to the trade of enslaved Africans in Shockoe Bottom.
• Declarations of Suffering, Resistance and Liberation in Shockoe Bottom: 5:15 to 5:45 p.m.: Presentations on the history of Shockoe Bottom, Richmond’s slave trade, the end of enslavement and the future of Shockoe Bottom.
• Opening the Door: 5:45 to 6:15 p.m.: An exploration of the Middle Passage and the culture stolen from Africans transported to the United States to be sold into enslavement.
• Undertones: An Aural Suite: 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.: An aural memorial for Richmond’s African Burial Grounds constructed by melding jazz orchestration, improvisation, African rhythms, chants, narratives and dance by Ashby Anderson.
• Anointing the Veil: An elevation ceremony to release from bondage the memory of enslaved African ancestors in Virginia: 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.: A candlelight procession and calling out of names based on the Virginia Historical Society’s Unknown No Longer database.
• African American Reflections on the Civil War: 7:45 to 9:45 p.m.: Witness the lives and roles of Africans and Africa’s descendants unfold in this original drama from the Elegba Folklore Society. A discussion will follow.
• Bound: Africans vs. African Americans: 9:45 p.m.: A documentary by Kenyan director Peres Owino that connects enslavement and colonialism with contemporary self-view, world view and relations between continental Africans and African-Americans. A discussion will follow.
Saturday, April 4
• In the Footsteps of Abraham Lincoln: 9 to 11 a.m., tour begins at 17th and Dock streets: This two-mile tour traces where President Abraham Lincoln went during his visit to Richmond following its liberation.
• The Start, Spread and Containment of the Evacuation Fire: 9 to 11 a.m., meet near the Visitor Center entrance on the State Capitol grounds: This tour explores the evacuation fire that destroyed more than 20 city blocks.
• Richmond Slave Trail Tour: 9 to 10:30 a.m., meet at shuttle stop on Bank Street: A walking tour follows part of the Richmond Slave Trail, including Lumpkin’s Jail and the African Burial Ground.
• The Capture of Richmond: 9:30 to 11 a.m., meet near the Washington Equestrian Statue at the State Capitol: This program explores the reactions of Union soldiers as they grasped the reality of liberating the epicenter of the slave trade.
• The Virginia Capitol, 1788 – Present: 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.: Meet inside the Capitol’s visitor entrance located at the bottom of the hill at 10th and Bank streets: The tour will feature historic statues and paintings, exhibits and restored old and new House and Senate chambers.
• Court End and the Capitol in the Civil War: 10 to 11:30 a.m., The Valentine, 1015 E. Clay St.: A discussion of the people and places of Court End and Capitol Square during the Civil War and the reason Virginia was chosen as the capital of the Confederacy. Cost: $15 per person or $5 for Valentine members.
• Elegba Folklore Society presents “Africans in the Civil War”: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., near the Bell Tower in Capitol Square: A program to focus on Africa’s descendants, including educators, soldiers, doctors and emancipators.
• In the Footsteps of Presidents: The Confederate White House: 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:15 to 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., near the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square: A tour to focus on Jefferson Davis’ last days in the Confederate White House and Abraham Lincoln’s historic visit to the site. Limit 25 people per tour, advanced registration required. Details: www.moc.org/RVA150.
• Richmond Slave Trail Tour: noon to 3:30 p.m., meet at the shuttle stop on Bank Street: This three-mile walking tour begins at the Manchester Docks on South Side and includes stops at Lumpkin’s Slave Jail and the Negro Burial Ground.
• “Go! Discover Richmond” Tour: noon to 2 p.m., meet near the Visitor Center entrance in Capitol Square: Guides from the Valentine will explore historic sites on the Richmond Liberty Trail.
• Civil War Capitol Tour: noon to 1 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., meet inside the Capitol’s visitor entrance at 10th and Bank streets: A tour will focus on events related to the Civil War that took place at the Capitol.
• The Civilians’ Experience During the Evacuation of Richmond: noon to 1:45 p.m., meet near the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square: The tour will examine citizens reactions during the first two weeks in April 1865 when Richmond was liberated by the Union Army.
• Examining the Trading of Enslaved People: 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:45 p.m., meet at the shuttle stop on Bank Street: This tour will examine the business of buying and selling enslaved people in Shockoe Bottom.
• The Untold Civil War Stories of Children and Adolescents: 1 to 1:30 p.m., Capitol Portico: A group of children imagine what life would have been like living in Richmond during the last months of the Civil War.
• Civil War Sampler: 1 to 5 p.m., the Valentine, 1015 E. Clay St.: A look at Richmond’s role as the capital of the Confederacy. A bus tour costs $25 per person and $20 for Valentine members. Reservations are required at (804) 649-0711, ext. 301.
• The Post-War Period in Richmond: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., meet at the shuttle stop on Bank Street: This bus tour will focus on African-American Richmonders from the end of the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement.
• “Backstory with the American History Guys”: 2 to 3 p.m., inside the Capitol Visitor Center: A public radio program exploring Richmond’s journey from the end of enslavement and the Civil War to today, hosted by University of Richmond President Edward Ayers, Dr. Peter Onuf and Dr. Brian Balogh.
• The Federal Occupation of Richmond: 2 to 3 p.m., meet near the Washington Equestrian Statue in Capitol Square: This program explores the reaction of the Union army as it faced a huge rebuilding task after liberating Richmond.
• Scenes from “Our American Cousin”: 3 to 3:30 p.m., Capitol Portico: Henley Street Theatre and Richmond
Shakespeare perform readings of scenes from “Our American Cousin,” the play that was being performed at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre.
• Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum: 4 to 4:30 p.m., Capitol Portico: A performance of 19th century music by the Fort McHenry Guard.
• In the Footsteps of Abraham Lincoln: 4 to 7 p.m., tour begins and ends at 17th and Dock streets: A tour that traces President Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Richmond following its liberation.
• The Future is Now: 6 p.m. to midnight; African Burial Grounds, both sides of the 1500 block of East Broad Street:
6 p.m.: Indigenous powwow drumming greets attendees as they pass through the portal.
6:30 p.m.: Performers Red Crooked Sky express the indomitable spirit of Virginia’s native people.
7:15 p.m.: An African inspired libation ceremony features West African masquerades that symbolize oneness of spirit with the physical world.
7:45 p.m.: Singer-songwriter Boo Hanks performs Piedmont blues. He’s a descendant of Abraham Lincoln on his mother’s side.
8:45 p.m.: Elegba Folklore Society’s African dancers, singers and drummers will perform.
9:45 p.m.: Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Maimouna Youssef will perform.
11 p.m.: Drums No Guns band presents “Wake Up America – The Time Has Come.”
The event will close with an interactive finale.