USCT Pennsylvania Grand Review


USCT Grand Review markerNovember 14, 1865 was a great day for the United States Colored Troops (USCT) who served with the Union during the Civil War. After having been excluded from the "Grand Review of the Armies" in Washington D.C., held for the Union troops on May 23-24, 1865, they were invited to attend a Grand Review held in their honor on November 14, 1865 in Harrisburg, PA.

The "Pennsylvania Grand Review" in Harrisburg, was organized by the women living in Harrisburg at the time. When the day of the review arrived, the USCT were led through town by Grand Marshal Thomas Morris Chester, who briefly served as a Captain in a Harrisburg company raised by the African American community in 1863.T. Morris Chester Grand Marshal Chester led the troops to Senator Simon Cameron's house to be recognized.

On November 3-7, 2010, the city of Harrisburg will again host a Grand Review to honor and remember the brave men from the USCT who served during the Civil War. The event will consist of a reenactment of the Grand Review as well as exhibitions, presentations and conservation projects.

USCT soldier

100 Voices is one such project. 100 Voices honors the memory and lives of 100 USCT soldiers from across Pennsylvania. Find more information about the Grand Review and 100 Voices at the House Divided webpage or the visitPA webpage.


Pennsylvania Grand Review 2010
Tentative Schedule of Events

(For additional info or to register for ticketed events,
please visit the website.)

November 1 - Camp Curtin Church, Harrisburg
Hallowed Ground Project; help to clean up the cemeteries that are now home to the brave USCT soldiers. Participating cemeteries roundtable: TBD

November 2 - Harrisburg University
Genealogy Project seminar: a short, but intensive course of study on researching genealogy.

November 3 - Pennsylvania National Fire Museum, Harrisburg
Act 48 In-Service workshop: a course emphasizing free discussion, exchange of ideas, demonstration of methods and practical application of skills

November 4 - National Civil War Museum, Harrisburg
The Annual Meeting of Pennsylvania Sites of the Network to Freedom and Pennsylvania Underground Railroad Fall Colloquium and Chautauqua: "African American Patriots and the Quest for Freedom."

Hartwick College Associate Dean and Director of U.S. Pluralism Programs Harry Bradshaw Matthews has been chosen as keynote speaker.

November 5 - State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg
USCT Conference symposium: a meeting at which several speakers deliver short addresses on related topics.

November 5 - Harrisburg Transportation Center
White Carnation Society - Martin Delany Luncheon gathering: an assembly of people for social, educational or political purposes.

November 5 - Midtown Scholar Book Store, Harrisburg
Live & Learn Event salon: a gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring hostess or host, partly to amuse one another and partly to refine their taste and increase their knowledge through conversation and readings

 November 5"Rather Die Freemen than Live to be Slaves"
A Symposium on Pennsylvania's US Colored Troops
100 Tickets - FREE
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. John Harris- Simon Cameron House

John Harris-Simon Cameron House
219 South Front Street

Tickets and Registration Required
Professional/Business Dress
Public Bathroom Access
Handicap Accessible
Walking Distance of Lodging
On Street & Garage Parking Available
Vending Machines


Dr. Horton Dr. Michael Barton is the master of ceremonies for "Rather Die Freemen than Live to be Slaves," a day long symposium on the United States Colored Troops, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and their role in the Civil War.  The symposium will feature lectures by Dr. Michael Barton, Professor of American Studies and Social Science, Penn State University, Harrisburg; Hari Jones, Assistant Director and Curator, African American Civil War Memorial, Washington, DC; Dr. Richard Blackett, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN; Dr. James M. Paradis, Doane Academy, Burlington, NJ; Dr. James O. Horton, the Benjamin Banneker Professor of American Studies and History, George Washington University, Emeritus.  Join us as we discuss the people, events and ramifications of the Civil War.

November 5
-White Carnation League Dinner
Honoring Descendants and their Communities
200 Tickets  - $65.00 per person/$200 for group of 4 
6:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Reception:  6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 
Pennsylvania Quest for Freedom Martin Delany Award presented to
Frank Gilyard, Historian, Central Pennsylvania African American Museum

Dinner and Open Dialogue:   7:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.Harold Holzer
Partake of a sumptuous five-star meal expertly prepared by the Hilton Harrisburg.  After dining you will be treated to an intellectually challenging conversation with Dr. James O. Horton and Mr. Harold Holzer.  Attendees will be provided the opportunity to ask questions and engage the panel.

Tickets and Registration Required
Professional/Business Dress
Public Bathroom Access
Handicap Accessible
On Street & Garage Parking Available

November 6 - Soldiers' & Sailors' Grove / Simon Cameron House, Harrisburg
USCT Parade reenactment: participants attempt to recreate some aspects of the original parade.

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.November 6 -  Grand Review Blessing & Dedication
featuring an address by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Municipal Stage at the Forum Building
Walnut Street at Commonwealth Avenue

 Send the soldiers off with a HOOZA ! and a blessing in this morning ceremony to honor the men who honor the legacy as United Stated Colored Troops.  Representative troops from 25 states will display their colors and bask in the grandeur of the day !


9:00 a.m. - Grand Review Parade
Downtown Harrisburg

November 6
Grand Review Chautauqua & Heritage Fair
Featuring Civil War Saloon & Canteen 
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.   - 1000 Tickets - FREE
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.   - 1000 Tickets - FREE

Keystone Building
Forster Street & Commonwealth Avenue

Tickets and Registration Required
Professional/Business Dress
Public Bathroom Access
Handicap Accessible
On Street & Garage Parking Available
Public Transportation
Coat Check

We gather together, brother and sister, mother and father, friend and colleague on a journey to the Grand Chautauqua & Heritage Fair. Dr. Mark Tyler, Pastor, Mother Bethel A.M.E. Church is our keynote speaker.  Listen to period and contemporary music from local and collegiate performers, see theatrical presentations, dine in a Civil War style canteen and enjoy the many featured exhibits.

November 7 - Whitaker Center, Harrisburg
Legacy Women's Awards Reception & Luncheon
11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Hosted by Bev Smith of Pittsburgh and Harrisburg SusqueCentennial Commission