Arlington National Cemetery

Historical Significance

African American soldiers who served in the 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War (portrayed in the movie "Glory") are buried in Arlington National Cemetery in and around Section 27. More than 3,800 African Americans from Freedman's Village are also buried in Section 27 of Arlington National Cemetery, their headstones marked with their names and the word "Civilian" or "Citizens." 

In June 1863, The Freedman's Village was established on the Arlington Estate as a war-time camp for African American "contrabands." The term "contraband" refers to southern slaves who fled to the north and were freed. Since southern law considered enslaved individuals to be property they were "contraband property" in the north. Although the Freedman's Village was set up to provide temporary refuge for freed slaves, the shelter lasted for more than 30 years.

Physical Description

No Physical Description Available

Geographical and Contact Information

Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington, Virginia
22211
Phone: 877-907-8585
Fax: 703-614-6339

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Arlington National Cemetery,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed November 18, 2017, http://www.aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/24.
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