Civil War Round Table
since 1959


“Our Name Would Go Down in Undying Fame”: The Forgotten Black Companies that Defended Harrisburg and Integrated Pennsylvania’s Militia

"Our Name Would Go Down in Undying Fame": The Forgotten Black Companies that Defended Harrisburg and Integrated Pennsylvania's Militia


5:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Bookings closed


Central Penn College Conference Center
600 Valley Road, Enola, PA

Join us on Friday, November 10, for a special salute to our veterans, as we honor the memory of those who defended Pennsylvania’s capital city during 1863. 

Historians often maintain that no African American combatants participated in the Gettysburg Campaign. However, HCWRT member and historian Cooper H. Wingert will share new archival research revealing how two Black companies organized in Harrisburg integrated Pennsylvania’s militia system just three days before the Battle of Gettysburg.  By the time Lee’s army entered Pennsylvania, many Black Harrisburgers had already left for Boston to enlist in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry (the subject of our February talk by John D. Hoptak). Wingert will explain why other Black Harrisburgers opted not to enlist in Massachusetts, and instead organized to defend Pennsylvania’s capital from the Confederate army.

Mr. Wingert is the author of 12 books and numerous articles. His book The Confederate Approach on Harrisburg received the Dr. James I. Robertson, Jr. Literary Prize for the best work in the field of Confederate history–military, political and social.  His other books include Abolitionists of South-Central Pennsylvania, Slavery & the Underground Railroad in South Central Pennsylvania, Harrisburg and the Civil War: Defending the Keystone of the Union, Emergency Men! The 26th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia and the Gettysburg Campaign, and Targeted Tracks: The Cumberland Valley Railroad in the Civil War, 1861-1865, which he co-authored with Scott L. Mingus, Sr.

Mr. Wingert graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College in 2020, and is pursuing a PhD in history at Georgetown University.  He is currently studying at State College as a Predoctoral Fellow in the History of the Civil War Era at the Richards Center at Penn State University.  His presentation is based on a brand-new article, and new research findings, that will appear in the September 2023 issue of Civil War History entitled “Fighting for State Citizenship in the U.S. Colored Troops.”  This marks the fifth time he has addressed our Round Table. 

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/89733930929. No password is required.  To dial in by phone call 1-301-715-8592 or click the following link for your call-in number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcJz2q7bcv.  The meeting ID # is 897 3393 0929.  Zoom participants should join the meeting by 7:00 pm.



Bookings are closed for this event.