Spirit of Freedom Civil War Program

Join us for the 24th Annual Spirit of Freedom, a celebration of the many thousands of African-Americans who fought during the Civil War. These U.S.C.T. (United States Colored Troops) represented one-tenth of the Union Army, which is a little known fact of our Civil War history. Of the 1,537 members of the U.S.C.T. who fought for Indiana, 225 are buried within the Crown Hill National Cemetery.

During this highly educational event, 5th grate Indianapolis Public School students rotate between three stages as a number of Civil War reenactors share first-person accounts from their character’s experiences and stories of other important African-Americans who had a major impact upon the outcome of the Civil War. Students learn from a number of Civil War reenactors, including Mr. Andrew Bowman reenacting his grandfather, Color Sergeant Andrew Jackson Smith, who fought with the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry and was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Clinton in January 2001. Among the highlights is a Civil War Cannon firing demonstration. Spirit of Freedom is presented in partnership with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, Indianapolis Public School’s Multi-Cultural Education Department, and others.

This event involves up to 1,500 5th grade students from Indianapolis Public Schools. The public is invited to attend as well. Please bring a blanket or folding chair to sit on, and a picnic lunch if desired. Spirit of Freedom will be canceled in the event of rain.

Where to meet: Enter 34th St. Gate at 3400 Boulevard Place and follow traffic cones to the event site. 

Tuesday, Jun 2
  • Free

  • 10:30am - 1:00pm