We were very pleased to see the July 23 article by Chris L. Jenkins and Jennifer Buske about African American reenactors [“Reclaiming glory”]. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War provides an opportunity to tell a more complete story of that watershed period in American history.
Although the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment is the most famous African American unit, there were many others. Here in the Fredericksburg area, the 23rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops (USCT), was involved in the first clash in May 1864 between black soldiers and the Army of Northern Virginia in Spotsylvania County, where some of the soldiers in that unit had been slaves.
An effort is underway under the leadership of Steward Henderson to recreate the 23rd USCT to make its story better known. We wish him success.
Russ Smith, Fredericksburg
The writer is superintendent of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.