Colored Soldiers Monument in Frankfort - History


Due to state laws, Kentucky was not allowed to recruit blacks until March 1, 1864. In total, 23,703 blacks from Kentucky would join a total of 23 Union regiments. This would provide the Union Army one-third of its total forces from the state of Kentucky. Those that enlisted were immediately emancipated. Although generally given garrison duty, these soldiers did see combat action, mostly in Tennessee and North Carolina. After the war ended, some were sent west to Texas to discourage France from conquering Mexico. Only the state of Louisiana provided more black troops than Kentucky.

The monument, built in 1924, is made of limestone. Its base is of poured concrete. Inscribed around the column are the names of 142 black soldiers that hailed from central Kentucky. All that is known of its cost is "several hundred dollars". It was dedicated at 4 p.m. on July 4, 1924.

On July 17, 1997, the Colored Soldiers Monument in Frankfort was one of 60 different monuments related to the Civil War in Kentucky placed on the National Register of Historic Places, as part of the Civil War Monuments of Kentucky Multiple Property Submission. The Confederate Monument in Frankfort is the only other one in Frankfort; it is in Frankfort Cemetery one mile (1.6 km) to the west.

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