WHEELING, W.Va. – Anthony Gibbs will present “Freedom, Citizenship, and Equality: The Story of the United States Colored Troops” at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. The program will begin at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Almost 200,000 black soldiers fought for the Union during the Civil War. Their story is a unique chapter in the American conflict. These men were freedom fighters who fought for emancipation and for full citizenship rights. Gibbs discusses events significant to these men that led up to the Civil War, and what made these men different from the other thousands who fought and died in the War Between the States.

Gibbs has traveled throughout the state of Ohio as a teaching artist and living history performer. He has portrayed living history characters such as John Parker, an Underground Railroad conductor from Ripley, Ohio; Milton Holland, a soldier and Medal of Honor recipient of the 5th U.S.C.T.; and other key figures in African American history. For more than 12 years, he has presented historical workshops and performances on the United States Colored Troops and their participation in the Civil War. Gibbs is a graduate of Ohio State University. He is currently employed by the Ohio History Connection as the manager of Local History Services. He also is founder and creative director of Black Historic Impressions, an organization dedicated to the remembrance, appreciation and exhibition of African American contributions throughout history. 

West Virginia Independence Hall has been on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) since 1970. It was originally built as a federal custom house in 1859, served as the home of the pro-Union state conventions of Virginia during the spring and summer of 1861 and as the capitol of loyal Virginia from June 1861 to June 1863. It also was the site of the first constitutional convention for West Virginia. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1988, the museum is maintained and operated by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, with the cooperation and assistance of the West Virginia Independence Hall Foundation. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, with the exception of major holidays. The museum is located on the corner of 16th and Market Streets in Wheeling.

For more information about this event or WVIH, contact Debbie Jones, site manager, at (304) 238-1300 or

Photo of Gibbs