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Owensboro to Unveil Historical Marker Honoring African-American Civil War Soldiers from Region

Daviess Co Fiscal Court

An estimated 1,000 African-Americans who fought for the Union in the Civil War are being honored in Owensboro.

The Daviess County Bicentennial Committee is unveiling a historical marker on the courthouse square Friday evening for the Daviess County men who fought in what were known as “colored” infantries and cavalry units during the war.

The marker will be unveiled at 6 p.m. at the northwest corner of the courthouse.

Committee Co-chair Aloma Dew was one of the driving forces behind getting the marker established. She says the black men who volunteered for the units took great personal risks.

“We know of a couple of men who walked from Pleasant Ridge, which is about 15 miles outside of Owensboro, into Owensboro to sign up. They were slaves and they knew that if they were apprehended there would be a high cost to pay,” Dew said.

“This is to honor those men who fought for a freedom that they were not ever sure would be theirs. They were certainly hoping so.”

The marker will honor those who served in the 100th, 109th, and 118th U.S. Colored Infantry and the 5th and 6th U.S. Colored Cavalry.

After the unveiling of the historical marker, the Owensboro Museum of Science and History will unveil its first major exhibit dedicated to the history of the local black community, “A Journey Shared: African-Americans in Daviess County.”  The exhibit opens at 7 p.m.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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