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Forgotten Soldier

Supplemental Daily Programming

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

In conjunction with the special exhibition “Forgotten Soldier: African Americans in the Revolutionary War,” supplemental daily programming at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown illuminates the lives of African-American soldiers in the Revolutionary War with educational lectures and hands-on learning activities with historical interpreters.


“African Americans in the Revolutionary War” Daily Lecture

Visitors will find a daily lecture offering in the education wing classroom. Randy Flood has developed a presentation that he and his volunteer speakers will be giving on the subject of African Americans who served on both sides of the American Revolution. The presentation includes a broad overview of the African-American perspective of the war, as well as personal stories and myth busting.

Enlistment Requirements & Incentives for African-American Soldiers

In our re-created Continental Army encampment, visitors will have an opportunity to speak with a Continental Army recruiter who will present the enlistment requirements and incentives for African-American soldiers used by both the British and American forces. New recruits can weigh their options and consider which side offers a better chance at freedom. Activities may include using a quill pen to sign their name in the muster book, receiving payment, exploring a soldiers living quarters, sending newly mustered recruits to a camp drill or weapons demonstration.

African-American Spies in the Continental Army

Espionage was a valuable tool used by General Washington to gain information and advantages throughout the war. In the Colonel’s tent, visitors will be introduced to some of the African American spies and various methods used during the American Revolution. Newly recruited spies will be given an opportunity to crack codes and even carry out a mission.

Roles and Responsibilities of African-American Mariners

African Americans were known to have strong nautical skills and many were recruited by both sides to help pilot and navigate through coastal waters in Virginia and beyond. Interpretive staff in the camp, using 18th Century mariner’s skills, will teach visitors how a lead-line would have been used to measure water depth.

Uniforms of African-American Military Units

Our historical clothing staff have re-created the coats worn by soldiers who fought here at Yorktown during the siege, including those of African Americans. Visitors will be guided by our gallery docents in trying on the coats of various military units, including the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.

About the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (until 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), tells the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Comprehensive indoor exhibits and outdoor living history capture the transformational nature and epic scale of the Revolution and its relevance today. The museum is located at 200 Water Street, in Yorktown, Virginia. Parking is free.

“Forgotten Soldier” and daily supplemental programming is included with 2019 museum admission is $15.00 for adults, $7.50 for ages 6 through 12, and free for children under 6. A value-priced combination ticket to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown and Jamestown Settlement is $26.00 for adults and $12.50 for ages 6-12.  For more information about “Forgotten Soldier,” call (888) 593-4682 toll-free or (757) 253-4838.