Public Info

Exhibition Features Vintage Civil War Photos of Black Soldiers & Sailors from Union County

ELIZABETH, NJ – In observance of Black History Month, the Freeholders Gallery features an exhibit of vintage photographs of “Union County Black Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War” from a book of the same name by Ethel M. Washington, designer and curator of the show. The exhibit, which highlights Black and Mulatto soldiers and sailors who enlisted in the Union Army and U.S. Navy at the time of the Civil War, includes period documents, a photo of two female slaves and a photo of slave quarters in Elizabeth. The Freeholders Gallery is located on the 6th floor of the Union County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth. The exhibit is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays through March 2.

“The Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to present this timely exhibit,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, liaison to the Cultural and Heritage Programs Advisory Board. “Public interest in the Civil War is increasing both nationally and locally with observance of the 150th Anniversary of the war.”

This accurate and thoughtful photographic display is presented in conjunction with another exhibit, “Preserving the Union,” that is located in the nearby Rotunda of the County Courthouse. The collection of artifacts in the courthouse emphasizes the experiences of Union County citizens during the Civil War in the area of the home front, the military, and the political and economic life of the county. “Preserving the Union” is presented by the Union County Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee and runs through 2015, the period of national observance. The Courthouse is located at 2 Broad Street in Historic Mid-Town Elizabeth. The exhibit may be viewed weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Exhibits at the Freeholders Gallery are coordinated by Teya David of the Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs. For information about exhibiting at the Gallery and other programs and services related to the arts and Union County history, contact the Office at 633 Pearl Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202; telephone 908-558-2550; NJ Relay users dial 711; or email to



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