Monday, September 10, 2012

Black Brigade Ceremony

The good news is that I did get to represent the Ramage Museum at last night's ceremony to dedicate a new monument to the Black Brigade of Cincinnati.

The bad news is that since I had to man the museum's table, and since the historical groups were not very close to the monument or ceremony, I did not actually get to hear the speakers or even see the monument. I did hear some positive remarks from others who attended and did get to see a group of men doing a presentation of some members of the unit, marching around with shovels, picks, etc. and chanting some tune I did not recognize. I wish I had been able to get a picture of them as they were impressive.

I was able to see the seating area and it appeared to be standing room only. They had said they were expecting a crowd of 250 or so and I think they got that, and perhaps a bit more. There were also quite a few African-Americans present; that makes sense with this type of monument, but I have seen stories and other blogs wondering about the lack of interest in the Civil War by African-Americans. I talked with a few dozen people at my table, including some African-Americans, and was pleased with the level of interest in local history and the Civil War. I had several good conversations and met quite a few knowledgeable people. That was a  pleasant part of the evening and hopefully at least a few of them will take time to visit the Ramage Museum or find other ways to study the war, locally or in general.

One cool thing was a local group of re-enactors who fired their cannon to start and end the event. The echo from the buildings in Covington, across the Ohio River, was impressive, and after the first shot, a local water patrol drove up to the Ohio shore to see what was going on. I don't think anything came of that, since the group did fire the ending shot about an hour later.

I also learned of some upcoming Civil War events at other local institutions and will post an entry or two about them in the next few days. It sounds like there will be some very good presentations and talks in the area in the next few weeks, many of them about events in the Cincinnati area. Some may not realize it, but Antietam and the Maryland campaign were not the only events taking place in September 1862. Hopefully at least some of the citizens of this area will understand that the war extended even into Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, even if no major battle occurred.

I do wish I had been able to see the monument (but will find time to go visit and photograph it soon enough) and witness the actual ceremony, but I still had a good evening, being happy with the crowed that turned out for the event and the folks who stopped to visit my table. From what I saw, it was a successful event and a positive step for the study of local history.

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