A Public Sculpture by NC Artist Stephen Hayes Commemorating the United States Colored Troops and Their Fight for Freedom

About the project

Cameron Art Museum was the site of the Battle of Forks Road, a Civil War skirmish whose victory was won by the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and led to the fall of Wilmington. Their impact is significant, yet their story is virtually unknown. North Carolina artist Stephen Hayes has fashioned this life-size bronze sculpture from the cast features of 11 African American men connected to the site and its story – USCT descendants, re-enactors, veterans, and community leaders. The sculpture is connected deeply to the community’s history, its present, and its future.

Company E, 4th Regiment of the USCT
(Battle of Forks Road, Wilmington NC, 1865)

In support of the Cameron Art Museum’s mission for their Boundless project, the ACWM will be hosting a “Call for Descendants” page, designed to honor USCT soldiers and aid descendants in learning more about their connections to these individuals.

Click the link below to view a PDF documenting the names of United States Colored Troops.

February 1865, 1,800+ United States Colored Troops fought for 2 straight days on the grounds of what is now Cameron Art Museum. In November 2021, CAM erected a bronze sculpture by North Carolina artist Stephen Hayes of eleven USCT soldiers to honor the brave men who charged into fire for the preservation of this nation but more importantly, the freedom of themselves and all their loved ones still in bondage.

It took a combined community effort to excavate the land, comb through old military documents, and raise money to commission the artist and install the permanent installation of Boundless on our grounds.

As we take a deeper look into the individual lives that marched, fought, and died, we know only so much information can be found online. The stories of these brave men were passed down as oral histories that lives in the hearts and minds of the descendants walking the globe today.

Cameron Art Museum now issues a call for descendants of the 1st, 5th, 10th, 27th, and 37th United States Colored Troops regiments for oral history collection and for a homecoming celebration for descendants in November 2023 to honor the legacy of these brave men and their families.

Please contact Daniel Jones, Cultural Curator, at [email protected] for more information about the Call for Descendants event in November 2023 to honor the legacy of these brave men and their families.