Americans across the nation will come to celebrate a new federal holiday on June 19. In honor of Juneteenth, which commemorates slave Emancipation in Texas, Dr. Barbara A. Gannon, associate professor of History at the University of Central Florida, will discuss this new holiday, a day that is representative of all the emancipations that took place across the South during the American Civil War, with a presentation on “The Men who Made Juneteenth Possible: Black Soldiers and Sailors in the Civil War.”
This lecture will further highlight the role of African American soldiers during America’s most deadly war; 200,000 men who fought to free their race and preserve the Union. Among the battles discussed will also be Olustee, the largest and most important battle that occurred in Florida during the Civil War.
The purpose of this lecture is not to also retell the story of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry at Fort Wagner highlighted in the Oscar-winning feature film, Glory; instead, it is to tell the story of the more than 100 other Black regiments that served in the Federal army. Among the subjects that will be discussed: the recruitment of African American soldiers, the discrimination faced by these men, and the importance of their service to Union victory. In addition to telling their stories, Dr. Gannon will highlight their white comrades’ view of their service. After the war, white soldiers who fought at their side clearly remembered that these men had sacrificed for the Union cause, which included preserving the Union and freeing the slaves.
This program is presented by Dr. Barbara Gannon and hosted by the Winter Park Health Foundation.
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About Your Program Presenter
Barbara A. Gannon is an associate professor of history at the University of Central Florida. She received her B.A. from Emory University, an M.A. from George Washington University, and a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. She is the author of The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic (UNC Press, 2011). This book received the Wiley-Silver Prize (University of Mississippi) for the best first book in Civil War History. It also received an honorable mention from the Lincoln Prize (Gilder Lehrman Institute) jury in 2012. She published her second Book, Americans Remember their Civil War (Praeger) in 2017. She has authored several articles and essays on the Civil War and American veterans. She is the coordinator of the UCF Community Veterans History Project, an oral history project recording the experiences of Florida’s veterans. She is a veteran of the United States Army.