• 66°

U.S. Colored Troops monument proposed for Natchez Memorial Park

NATCHEZ — City of Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson has set out to build a tribute to the United States Colored Troops in Natchez Memorial Park.

An announcement about the new monument was made during Gibson’s “Natchez Renewal Radio” show Tuesday evening, where Gibson was joined by the new monument committee chairman Robert Pernell and City of Natchez community liaison Jessica Hawkins on WTYJ radio station at 97.7 FM.

Pernell chaired the “Proud to Take a Stand” monument committee during former mayor Darryl Grennell’s administration.

Gibson invited members of the community to join a monument task force to give their input and help move the project forward. Those interested in joining can email Gibson at mayor@natchez.ms.us, he said.

Gibson said the goal is to have the new monument placed prominently in Natchez Memorial Park outside of St. Mary Basilica. The monument would honor those who were taken out of slavery to serve in the United States Army. The U.S. Colored Troops were first recruited during the American Civil War and made up approximately one-tenth of the manpower in the Union Army.

The story of Forks of the Road — which was one of the largest slave markets in the country — will also be an important aspect of the monument’s design, Gibson said, adding he had been in quiet talks with the Historic Natchez Foundation’s Executive Director Carter Burns and the Director Emeritus Mimi Miller about the project since January.

“Some at Forks of the Road were in chains, immediately became free, and were given orders to dismantle the slave market and use the materials to build (Fort McPherson),” Gibson said.

The site of Fort McPherson, designed by Capt. Peter Hains of the Engineering Corps, begins at the intersection of North Canal and Madison streets. According to the National Park Service, it could accommodate 5,000 troops and provided an unobstructed view of the river and surrounding countryside.

Gibson said remnants of the fort still exist at the Natchez City Cemetery.

Some Natchez residents are calling for the removal of the confederate war memorial in Natchez Memorial Park. Gibson said building a new monument would put the confederate memorial into perspective and “correct inaccuracies” that were believed to be true when the confederate monument was erected.

“It’s not right that (the confederate) monument be there and there not be one that is, in my opinion, more about Natchez, than that one — the U.S. Colored Troops,” Gibson said. “There is far more history there that hasn’t been told that needs to be told.”

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATE: Missing juvenile found; three adults detained

News

Family searching for missing teen

Business

Natchez trucking company in need of CDL drivers

News

Mississippi to end federal unemployment supplement

News

Two children injured in dirt bike accident when struck by car

News

Victims identified in fatal crash Thursday in Vidalia

News

Katie’s Ladies model celebrates 102nd birthday

News

Dart: Natchez is second home to radio show producer, DJ

News

Trial delayed for Adams County murder suspect

News

One dead, 2 injured in two vehicle wreck in Vidalia

News

CPSB selects two finalists for next superintendent

Business

Atmos Energy replacing gas pipes for some Natchez residents

News

Schools to get $31 million for COVID-19

News

Man sentenced to 40 years Wednesday for killing step-daughter, injuring 3 other relatives

News

Officials working to bring commercial flights to Natchez-Adams Airport

News

Five candidates remaining for next CPSB Superintendent

Business

Furdge appointed to Natchez Convention Promotion Commission

COVID-19

Photo gallery: Clinic gives COVID-19 vaccines to inmates with mobile unit

News

Kiwanis Club giving new life to forgotten bike trail

Business

Grant money available to restaurants, bars from American Rescue Plan Act

BREAKING NEWS

Severe thunderstorm warning issued for Adams County, school dismissal delayed

News

NOAA weather station off air amid onset of thunderstorms in Adams County

News

Natchez should brace for more storms Tuesday

COVID-19

Supervisors vote again not to extend Adams County mask ordinance