African American Civil War Museum Reopens in Time for 150th War Anniversary

African American Civil War Museum Reopens in Time for 150th War Anniversary

Lee Jackson knew his great-great-grandfather, Buck Murphy, had been enslaved, but he was surprised the day his grandmother told him Murphy owned a Civil War uniform.

Washington, D.C. “I asked what color it was, and she said it was blue,” Jackson said.

Murphy, Jackson realized, was one of the about 200,000 African Americans who fought for the Union Army or the Navy in the Civil War. To chronicle their experiences, the African American Civil War Museum in Washington reopened in a new location Monday, in time for the 150th anniversary of the conflict.

Black Soldier of the Union Army with His Wife, c.1865




Black Soldier of the Union Army with His Wife, c.1865


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Jackson, who is a member of the museum’s board of directors, joined D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.; Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.; D.C. Councilman Marion Barry and museum director and former District councilman Frank Smith at the grand opening ceremony.

“This is a beautiful and fitting addition to the monuments of great glory in this city,” Landrieu said.


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