This September, the Black Brigade of Cincinnati was honored with a monument along the riverfront portion of Smale Park (across the street from the waterfall fountain.) To commemorate the occasion, John Morris Russell and the Cincinnati Pops played a musical tribute to the Civil War. Complete with reenactors in period clothing, the highlight of the program was a storytelling about the Black Brigade narrated by Kevin Robinson, WLWT's meteorologist. 

Watch the Cincinnati Pops performance:

Story of the Black Brigade

September 2012 marks the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, as well as a poignant time in Cincinnati history. Although they were free men, the city's African Americans were denied the opportunity to enlist to protect the Queen City from a Confederate attack. Instead, they were abducted from their homes by police and forced into labor. Yes, this happened in the Free North.

Protests resulted in an intervention by Union General Lew Wallace. Three hundred black men were freed and returned to their homes. The following day, 700 African Americans returned to volunteer to build fortiļ¬cations to defend Cincinnati. Deemed the Black Brigade, these men were the first organized group of African Americans to serve in the U.S. Military.

Dr. James A. Ramage, Civil War historian and founder of the Civil War Museum in Fort Wright.

I always enjoy when John Morris Russell conducts the audience to sing along.
Did you know Cincinnati Pops had fiddle and banjo soloists?