Gettysburg Reunion 1913- African American Civil War Veterans wearing their Union medals and GAR ribbons representing the Colored Troops, they were also present in Gettysburg in July, 1913.
There were a number of African American GAR members at the big reunion at Gettysburg in 1913, even though there were no black Union units that fought there.
In the years after the Civil War, black and white Union soldiers who survived the horrific struggle joined the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)—The Union army’s largest veterans’ organization.
~although black veterans still suffered under the contemporary racial mores, the GAR honored its black members in many instances and ascribed them a greater equality. Their membership in the GAR demonstrated that their wartime suffering created a transcendent bond—comradeship—that overcame even the most pernicious social barrier—race-based separation. -The Won Cause (Civil War America) by
By the end of the war, African-Americans accounted for 10% of the Union Army. 180,000 men — many former slaves — volunteered, a staggering 85% of the eligible population. Nearly 40,000 gave their lives for the cause. The USCT (United States Colored Troops) was a watershed in African-American history - The Civil War Trust.