Created By: Ithaca Heritage
The 26th Regiment United States Colored Infantry Memorial honors 26 African American men from Ithaca and Corning who volunteered to fight for the Union cause in the Civil War.
After President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, the U.S. government actively recruited African American soldiers. The 26th Regiment was formed in 1863 and fought in several battles in the South.
According to the National Archives, some 190,000 African American soldiers served in the Army and Navy during the Civil War. African American women, although prevented from enlisting, contributed to the war effort as nurses, spies, and scouts.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Tompkins County Veterans' Memorials Tour