In Richmond, three plaques honoring African Americans who served in office during Reconstruction were unveiled Tuesday in the capitol as was a heavily damaged statue of a Civil War soldier that was moved into a place of honor in Connecticut’s capitol in Hartford.
The plaques were inscribed with the names of more than 120 Virginia African Americans who served in the State Senate, House of Representatives and the constitutional convention of 1867-1868. The Virginia General Assembly’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission paid for the plaques and its Web site tells the stories of the men whose names are listed.
Hartford’s “Forlorn Soldier” was created around 1866 and after several moves, storms and vandalism, it was rescued from its overlooked location. The statue was cleaned and conserved, but not restored. At its ceremonial unveiling Tuesday, it was faceless, armless and missing its rifle just as it had been for years. One of the speakers made a connection to today’s soldiers who return from war with similar injuries.
The Connecticut Civil War Commemoration Commission and others paid for the statue’s conservation and relocation.