Thomas Nelson Community College will welcome the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Company “B” to the Hampton campus on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 11 a.m. as part of the College’s four-day Veterans Day observance. Members of the Washington, D.C. nonprofit organization participated as re-enactors and technical assistants in the 1989 Academy Award-winning film “Glory.” They now present the experiences of the Civil War’s first Northern black volunteer company using reenactments, interpretive programs, training seminars and more. The event at Thomas Nelson is free and open to the public.
During the group’s visit, the courtyard of Thomas Nelson’s Hampton campus will be transformed into a makeshift battle camp with tents and other Civil War-era props. Re-enactors will interact with visitors and answer questions. They will also introduce “Glory,” which will be shown at 1 p.m. in Thomas Nelson’s Wythe Hall Gallery. Following the film, the re-enactors will be available for a question and answer session. “I hope people will gain knowledge about the turbulent times and appreciate that these men, the 54th Regiment, were willing to sacrifice their lives,” said Thomas Nelson Veterans Day Committee Chair Kathryn Anderson.
During the Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry’s bravery inspired other black soldiers to join the Union Army. Their efforts led to the Union victory and the abolition of slavery. The members of the volunteer organization strive to preserve the history of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and other black soldiers who fought in the Civil War with “historical accuracy, intellectual honesty [and] attention to detail.” The group was formed in 1988 as a National Park Service “Volunteers in the Parks” unit.
For more information about Thomas Nelson’s Veterans Day observance, contact the Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 825-2725.