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Roundtable: Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter

February 3, 2022 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join speaker Gordon Rhea as he shares the story of “Stephen A. Swails: Black Freedom Fighter in the Civil War and Reconstruction.”

Stephen Atkins Swails was a free Black in the North prior to the American Civil War. Swails would join the war effort and become the first African American combat officer in the United States military. He served with the famous 54th Massachusetts Infantry that was the main unit featured in the 1989 film Glory. Swails finished his war service and settled in South Carolina where he held important positions in the Freedmen’s Bureau. While there, Swails helped to draft the state constitution, served in the state senate and secured legislation to assist liberated Black citizens.

Gordon C. Rhea is the author of seven award-winning books about the American Civil War and most famously for his series on the Overland Campaign. His works include; The Battle of the Wilderness, The Battles at Spotsylvania Court House and the Road to Yellow Tavern, To the North Anna River, Cold Harbor, On To Petersburg, Carrying the Flag, and In the Footsteps of Grant and Lee. Mr. Rhea is a national lecturer at numerous historical societies, universities, and historic preservation organizations on military history subjects and the Civil War era. He has served on several boards associated with historical and preservation organizations. Mr. Rhea has also appeared numerous times as a historian and presenter on national television channels, including productions by The History Channel, A&E Channel, Discovery Channel, and C-Span.

The Petersburg Civil War Roundtable (PCWRT) will meet the first Thursday of each month at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier from 7:00 pm-8:00 pm. Annual membership is $40.00. Individuals who are already members of Pamplin Historical Park can become members of PCWRT for $20.00. Non-members can attend for $5.00 each meeting. Call (804) 861-2408 for more information.

This is an in-person event.


February 3, 2022
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Pamplin Historical Park
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