Corinth Contraband Camp

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Somehow this story fell under my radar screen.  Both the Siege and Battle of Corinth Commission and National Park Service are in the process of preserving and interpreting the Corinth Contraband Camp.   Between 2,500 and 6,000 slaves  made their way to the camp before it was abandoned by the Union army in 1864.  The preservation plan includes seven life-size bronze sculptures, a small cabin, and interpretive signage.  The site is already open to visitors, however, the statues are still in production with plans for the first to be unveiled in November.

This is an excellent example of how our national narrative of the war continues to evolve in the post- Civil Rights Era.  It's hard to imagine such a site being maintained without the necessary political leverage from those whose memories of the war deviate from the Lost Cause tradition – a tradition that was reinforced in public spaces throughout the twentieth century by legalized white supremacy.  For additional reading, see Kirk Savage's Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves (Princeton University Press, 1999).

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  • This sounds like a great site! The last chapter of my dissertation deals with contrabands, though not along the Vicksburg route.

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