Matthew D. LaRoche '17, Gettysburg College


Hannah M. Christensen '17, Gettysburg College

Alexandria J. Andrioli '18, Gettysburg College

Jennifer A. Simone '18, Gettysburg College

Savannah G. Rose '17, Gettysburg College

Jonathan G. Danchik '17, Gettysburg College

Laurel J. Wilson '19, Gettysburg College

Jonathan E. Tracey '19, Gettysburg College

Danielle E. Jones '18, Gettysburg College

Ryan D. Bilger '19, Gettysburg College

Savannah A. Labbe '19, Gettysburg College

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2017

Department 1

Civil War Institute


This is a catalog for an exhibit that follows the evolution of African-American participation in the Civil War, from slaves, to contrabands, to soldiers of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), as well as the lives of black veterans beyond the war, and their ultimate military and social legacy. Using a variety of period items, it creates a narrative that stretches from the Antebellum Period to the current day. In doing so, the exhibit shows how black sacrifice on the battlefield redefined the war's purpose throughout the divided nation, how Jim Crowe suppressed the memory of black participation after Reconstruction, and how the illustrious African-American military tradition left by the USCT endures to this day in their modern heirs.


"Right to Serve, Right to Lead: Lives and Legacies of the USCT" was displayed as an exhibit in the Special Collections Reading Room at Gettysburg College's Musselman Library from August 29, 2016 to December 18, 2017. The exhibit was built during the curator's Brian C. Pohanka Internship in the Gettysburg College Special Collections during the summer of 2016, offered through the Civil War Institute.

This catalog was created as a collaborative effort of Special Collections and College Archives and the Civil War Institute Fellowship program. CWI Fellows selected artifacts and conducted research to make connections to wider historical themes from the Civil War Era and beyond.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.