African American Civil War Memorial needs repairs after shooting

In response to the vast outpouring of support and concern about the recent shooting at the African American Civil War Memorial the non-profit Foundation that built the memorial and continues to operate a museum at the site is sponsoring RALLY ON THE HIGH GROUND, a national fundraising drive to fix the gun damage and other major problems associated with the African American Civil War Memorial.

In the Dec. 26 incident, gunfire, which police believe was exchanged between two people, damaged the Memorial Wall of Honor. There were no known injuries to people.

The total cost of all repairs at the site is roughly $575,000 as outlined below. Beverly Perry, chairperson of the Board of Directors for the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation has stated that “It is our goal to raise the funds necessary and get all repairs completed in time for the Grand Review planned for 2015 that will mark the sesquicentennial celebration of the end of the American Civil War.”

The memorial is the nation’s way of paying tribute to the 209,145 African American Union Soldiers who bravely stood up with President Lincoln in the Civil War to abolish slavery and keep America united under one flag. The memorial was authorized by Congress and was built with private funds on federal land. The completed memorial  was turned over to the National Park Service in 2003 and the museum continues to operate the adjacent museum with private funds.

The two names damaged by gunfire were Lt. Adolph Ebermayer, one of the officers in the 121st    mustered into the Union Army in September 1864 in Louisville, KY. The second name damaged was that of Henry Foster who was a private in the 121st  regiment. Army records show that Pvt. Foster enlisted in the USCT at the age of 20 and had dark hair, dark eyes complexion and stood 5’5″. He was from Pike County Kentucky.

The names on the Memorial Wall of Honor are enrolled by regiment in alphabetical order by last name and these  two damaged names appear next to each other. “All repairs will be done according to the specifications required by the various permitting entities,” said Frank Smith, Founding Director, African American Civil War Memorial and museum.

The following is a detailed list of needed repairs and estimate of cost:

  • Repair gun damage to Plaque number 124, 121st USCT from the state of Kentucky, and resurface and restore all remaining plaques on the Wall of Honor – $125,000
  • Repair all damage done by skate boarders and place anti-skating devices on walls and around the Spirit of Freedom statue. – $75,000
  • Repair and replace all lighting on monument and surrounding areas, and replace missing spotlight on city light pole. – $125,000
  • Complete final installation of soldier relief panels on parapet surrounding metro stop, place flag pole at corner and install graphic arts panels on gym wall at Garnet Patterson School as per Duke Plan (see attachment 2). – $125,000
  • Revivify all grass areas, plants and shrubbery – $125,000

The African American Civil War Memorial allows the nation to finally pay tribute to the gallant acts of the African American soldiers of the Civil War, who answered when America called for help. These troops brought an end to slavery and reunited a torn country. The nation deserves an opportunity to honor their sacrifices.

The African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation raised public awareness and found the funds necessary to build the nation’s only monument to the 209,145 black soldiers and their white officers who joined President Lincoln in the Civil War to end slavery and keep America united under one flag. The monument is located in the Shaw area of the Nation’s Capital which is named for Col. Robert Gould Shaw, Mass. 54th.

Persons interested in joining the RALLY ON THE HIGH GROUND  may do so by making a tax deductible donation or future pledge  to the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation, 1925 Vermont Ave. NW., Washington, DC, 20001 (please include “memorial repairs” in memo section) or they may donate online by going to www.afroamcivilwar.org.