African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, Washington DC

#38 of 68 in Museums in Washington DC
History Museum · Museum
The African American Civil War Memorial Museum, in the U Street district of Washington, D.C., recognizes the contributions of the 209,145 members of the United States Colored Troops (USCT). The eponymous memorial, dedicated in July 1998 by the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation, commemorates the service of 209,145 African-American soldiers and about 7,000 white and 2,145 Hispanic soldiers, together with the approximate 20,000 unsegregated Navy sailors, who fought for the Union in the American Civil War, mostly among the 175 regiments of United States Colored Troops.

The Memorial is at the corner of Vermont Avenue, 10th Street, and U Street NW in Washington, D.C. It holds a 9-foot bronze statue, The Spirit of Freedom, by Ed Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky, commissioned by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 1993 and completed in 1997. The memorial includes a walking area with curved panel short walls inscribed with the names of the men who served in the war.

The Museum is across the street from the Memorial, at 1925 Vermont Ave. NW. Plans are in place for it to move into the former Grimké School, at 1923 Vermont Ave. NW. As of 2018 the Museum is housed in the former gymnasium of the school, which was converted into an office building in the 1980s.
Both are served by the U Street station on the Washington Metro, served by the Yellow and Green Lines.

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African American Civil War Memorial & Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
102 reviews
  • This was an excellent trip where we visited lots of museums and monuments. We loved seeing the history of our country.  more »
  • The African American Civil War Memorial is a really cool sight. It isn’t just one sided so you can walk around a get multiple views. Surrounding the monument are silver plaques dedicated to African...  more »
  • A MUST SEE IF ON A TRIP TO DC! I decided to go on a weekday to avoid the crowd. I recommend booking a scheduled time on their website first to bypass the entry queue. From the accurate timeline of history (early days of slave trade to modern slavery) to the well articulated story’s and narratives, you will leave this museum with a sense of soberness, humility and joy as to how far we have come as humans. The 2 hours we spent taking in all the history definitely wasn’t enough. If you really want to get a full experience, I recommend dedicating a full day to the museum!
  • Interesting. A small place that provides information on African american soldiers. Hard to spot if you don't know where you are going. Did the self guided tour which did not take long but I found out into that I was looking for

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