“They led the way” is the title for the newest Civil War Trails sign in North Carolina which was recently installed in Goldsboro. On March 27, join community leaders, descendants, and officials in downtown Goldsboro as they dedicate the new site and remember the service of the men in the 135th United States “Colored” Infantry.
The story of the men in this infantry regiment was largely forgotten until recently. The 135th USCT Research Team, Inc., which was formed in 2016 by Amy and Jay Bauer and is comprised of local citizens and regional historians who have spent innumerable hours exploring archives, delving into online sources, and tirelessly analyzing historic documents looking for information about the Black men who served in this infantry regiment. Lt. Col. (retired) Deborah Jones, who is the secretary of the research team, said: “It is exciting to see these once enslaved men recognized for their backbreaking endeavors to provide freedom for all!”
The new sign is part of the Civil War Trails program which connects visitors to over 1,400 sites just like this one. Across six states, each Civil War Trails site enables travelers to stand in the footsteps of historic events or people of the past.
Despite seeing and hearing hundreds of stories each year, their team found the Goldsboro story truly inspirational. “It’s amazing to stand at one site which encompasses the story of the Civil War,“ executive director Drew Gruber said. “These Black men entered town as formerly enslaved people and marched out as Federal employees, soldiers in the United States Army.”
Since each Civil War Trails site is promoted by the municipal and state tourism office, this ensures that visitors will be inspired to visit downtown Goldsboro. André Nabors, partnership relationship manager for Visit NC said, “As we continue to get back to our travel mindset, we are ready to share the often untold stories and impact of many sites along the largest open-air museum, that is the Civil War Trails program!”
For more information about the March 27 ceremony, contact Visit Goldsboro at (919) 734-7922, or visit 135usct.org.
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