ROCK ISLAND, III (KWQC) — African-American troops who served as guards at the confederate prisoner of war camp were honored Saturday afternoon.
The Rock Island Arsenal Museum held the free event. Presentations by scholars and descendants highlighted the history and story of soldiers from the108th regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops. Who arrived at the arsenal in September 1984.
Most members of the 108th regiment were former slaves from Kentucky and some chose to settle in the area with their families after the civil war ended.
Shellie Moore Guy helped organize the educational event. She is the great great granddaughter of Charley Wilson who served in the 108th USCT regiment, and niece of Charley’s brother, Sandy Terry who also served in the 108th.
“We have gone around in this community talking about history. Talking about some black history, this, that, and the other. Here we are in the Quad Cities with this kind of history. That needs to be known. This is local history,” she said.
This is the second year the arsenal has held this event. Moore Guy hopes to continue doing this. She says it’s important to share her family’s history while bringing the truths and stories of the 108th to life.
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