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They Fought Like Tigers: The Skirmish at Island Mound and the First Engagement of Black Soldiers in the Civil War

6/10/2023 | Watkins Mill State Park | Lawson, MO

While many people are familiar with the historical significance of the Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment, as depicted in the movie “Glory,” few are aware that the very first Civil War engagement involving Black soldiers occurred on Missouri soil, not far from Butler in Bates County. This momentous event is commemorated at one of Missouri's newest state historic sites: Battle of Island Mound.

Much of what is known about this event comes from military records of the time or oral histories. In this program, presenter Dr. Ann Raab will share her experiences working as an archeologist at the location of the historic site, as well as the social and cultural considerations of properly memorializing this moment in time.

This presentation is sponsored by the Missouri Speakers Bureau. The Missouri Speaker Bureau is jointly organized and managed by Missouri Humanities and the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Presentation Time: 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Click here to read the news release.

Watkins Mill State Park is located at:

26600 Park Road N., Lawson, MO | 816-580-3387