In honor of Black History Month, please join us on Friday, February 16, as National Park Service Ranger John D. Hoptak pays a special tribute to the many South-Central Pennsylvanians who fought in the storied 54th Massachusetts Infantry.
The 54th Massachusetts remains one of the most famous fighting units of the Civil War. One of the first African-American regiments recruited during the war, their story was told, in part, in the award-winning 1989 movie Glory. However, many will be surprised to learn that when the 54th Massachusetts was first organized and first marched off to war, there were more men from Pennsylvania in the ranks of this storied regiment than from any other state, including more than 100 men who hailed from South Central Pennsylvania, from places like Mercersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Middletown, Columbia, and Harrisburg.
Mr. Hoptak has worked as an interpreter and educator with the National Park Service since 2006, first at Antietam National Battlefield and, since 2012, at Gettysburg National Military Park. A native of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, he is also the author of numerous articles and several books including The Battle of South Mountain, First in Defense of the Union, Confrontation at Gettysburg, and Dear Ma: The Civil War Letters of Curtis Pollock.
Those who are unable to attend this engagement in person are invited to tune in to the lecture and Q&A session via Zoom. Click on the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83649612237. No password in required. To dial in by phone, call 1-301-715-8592 or click on the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kGfRjpDmv. The meeting ID # is 836 4961 2237.Zoom participants should join the meeting by 7:00 pm.