Civil War Recruitment Broadside. Image: Library of Congress

The District of Columbia's Black Civil War Regiment

November 18, 2003
On November 18, 2003, Capitol Hill historian C.R. Gibbs delivered an Overbeck lecture on the First Regiment, U.S. Colored Troops, the African American Civil War regiment that was recruited and trained in Washington, D.C.

In the spring of 1863, Israel Bethel AME Church, which stood approximately where the Rayburn House Office Building stands today, became the main recruiting station for this regiment of fugitive slaves and freedmen from throughout the region who volunteered to fight for the Union cause.

Mr. Gibbs is the author of five books on African American history, including the recently published Black, Copper & Bright: The District of Columbia 's Black Civil War Regiment . He has also written for dozens of newspapers and magazines, lectured at schools and universities throughout the Washington region and beyond, and mounted a variety of historical exhibits for museums and other organizations. His expert guidance has been sought in connection with a variety of video and television productions, and his anecdotal history tours for the Smithsonian Associates and other groups are among the best in the city.

Copies of Black, Copper & Bright and other books by Mr. Gibbs were available for purchase and signing at the end of the lecture.

Past Lectures