IPS students honor African-American veterans of Civil War

Honoring African American soldiers who fought in Civil War

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds of Indianapolis Public School students got a lesson in history Tuesday.

Each year, IPS partners with the Crown Hill Heritage Foundation for the Spirit of Freedom event. It celebrates African-American soldiers who fought during the Civil War. Fifth- and sixth-grade students watched re-enactments, heard from the Arsenal Technical High School drum line and saw a Civil War gun-firing demonstration.

Patricia Payne, IPS director of the Office of Multicultural Education, said, “We have over 800 students here to celebrate and honor soldiers who fought, not just soldiers but black soldiers who fought in the Civil War because so many people don’t even think that we were a part of the war. We were part of every war and we were in there fighting for the United States.”

Of the more than 1,500 African-American soldiers who represented Indiana during the Civil War, more than 200 are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery.