African-American soldiers of the Civil War are getting recognition at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The “Boys in Blue” Civil War exhibit at the museum features more than 7,000 pictures of Illinois veterans – none of which depicted identified black soldiers.
Kathryn Harris, library services director, says she found a 5x7 picture of Nathan Hughes – a member of the Illinois-based 29th U.S. Colored Troops. She says Hughes was born a slave but escaped to serve in the military.
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"It is not known when he fled… if he fled when he learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and its reference to military service by free men of color or fugitive slaves, or what the references were," she says.
The photo will join the “Boys in Blue” display.
Harris says the Marks and Salchi families of Chicago donated enough money to make the purchase possible.