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EKU History Major and McNair Scholar Participates in Reenactment of the 1862 Battle of Richmond, Kentucky

Melvin Diggs as a member of the 12th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery

The Civil War battle of Richmond, Kentucky was fought on August 29 & 30, 1862.  The battle was part of the Confederacy's most concerted effort to capture the Commonwealth of Kentucky, its men for fighting, and much needed material to support the "Southern Cause." 

On August 24 & 25, 2019, EKU history major and McNair scholar Melvin Diggs participated in an annual reenactment of the Battle of Richmond, sponsored by the Battle of Richmond Association and held at Battlefield Park in Richmond, Kentucky.

Melvin was with a group of volunteer reenactment soldiers representing the 12th United States Colored Heavy Artillery Regiment, which was organized on July 15, 1864 at Camp Nelson, Kentucky.  This regiment was the largest to be organized at Camp Nelson.  From June 1864 through April 1865 there were a total of 1,418 men enlisted into the regiment.  Camp Nelson went on to become the third largest recruiting and training center for African American men.  At Camp Nelson, more than 10,000 African American men were recruited to serve the Union army.

Melvin's approach to history, which led him to participate in the Battle of Richmond reenactment, is personal and grounded in social justice.  Melvin says:  "One of the reasons for knowing about and learning about history is so you know where you came from and to know the struggles people went through while fighting factors against them.  The main reason that I am a history major is to restore the voice of those whose voice was stripped from them."

Published on September 20, 2019

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