Every museum has a mission, and the African-American Civil War Museum makes the point that for some, the Civil War was about secession versus union, but for others, it was a matter of breaking human bondage.
The museum illustrates their message through a stunning permanent collection of photographs, documents, and some audiovisual programs, which follows African American history from the Civil War through the Civil Rights movement. The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Project allows visitor to search for ancestors in databases of black troops, regiments, and battles.
Nearby is the African-American Civil War Memorial. At the center of a granite plaza, the bronze statue of rifle-bearing troops is surrounded on three sides by the Wall of Honor, listing the names of 209,145 black troops who fought in the Union Army, as well as the 7,000 white soldiers who served alongside them. Use the directory to locate individual names within the regiments.
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The African-American Civil War Museum is located on U Street, in Columbia Heights, which is northeast from downtown. The neighborhood is accessible via metro and bus, and also is a hub for restaurants and nightlife.