Monument pays tribute to black soldiers' efforts in Civil War

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With the Civil War re-enactors, including members of the U.S. Colored Troops, standing at attention, the monument of an African-American Union soldier became a Nashville landmark. The unveiling of the 9-foot-tall bronze statue evoked a spontaneous applause from the audience.

"The monument will remain as living history to the testimony of the African-Americans who believed so strongly in fighting for their freedom," said Lyn Norris with the local African American Cultural Alliance, which spearheaded the effort to honor fallen members of the U.S. Colored Troops. "I never heard about colored troops until the movie Glory came out. Every one of them gave life for the country they loved, and to be cast away and treated as second-class citizens, it's just a shame."

The life-size statue, made by Middle Tennessee artist Roy Butler, is believed to be one of only two in the South to honor black Union soldiers. The first was dedicated two years ago at the site of the Battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi.

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