She Assembled Missing Pieces of A Civil War Puzzle

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Juanita Patience Moss was shocked to learn that her great-grandfather would not be included among the 200,000 black soldiers honored at the African American Civil War Memorial.

The memorial, at 10th and U streets NW, would name only the soldiers and seamen who served with the U. S. Colored Troops.

So, 10 years ago, when Moss attended a discussion hosted by the African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation, she asked several historians whether any records of black soldiers in white regiments had been found.

The historians agreed that black soldiers were not allowed to serve in white regiments. That is, until Moss -- a retired New Jersey high school biology teacher who lives in Alexandria -- showed them her great-grandfather's military records.

"I looked at each of their faces, and I knew that this was brand-new information," said Moss, 76, who in October will release a revised edition of her book "The Forgotten Black Soldiers in White Regiments During the Civil War." This year marks the 10th anniversary of the African American Civil War Memorial, which was celebrated in Washington from July 15 to 18. Originally published in 2004 by Heritage Books, Moss's book will list the names of more than 2,000 black soldiers from 32 states who served in Union Army regiments.

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