Battle of New Market Heights Memorial & Education Association
Welcome to the online home of the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association (BNMHMEA). Our mission is ambitious but truly important. We seek to erect a suitable monument at the site of the Battle of New Market Heights and educate the public about this major military accomplishment by the United States Colored Troops (USCT) of the 3rd Division of the XVIII Corps (Army of the James) on September 29, 1864. On that day, fourteen African American soldiers and two white officers of the USCT performed acts of heroism that earned the Medal of Honor. They, along with thousands of their comrades who fought there, deserve a fitting memorial to honor their willingness to sacrifice their lives so that the United States might continue and to see slavery abolished.
The idea of erecting a monument at the New Market Heights battlefield has been the topic of discussion for many years. However, obstacles always appeared that hindered its advancement and ultimate realization. However, in 2011, a major step forward came with the publication of James S. Price’s book, The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword by the History Press. In the book’s epilogue Price quoted from former USCT soldier Joseph T. Wilson’s poem “Voice of a New Race.” In the poem, Wilson lamented the lack of memorialization for the contributions made by the USCT during the Civil War. And, while the void of monuments to Union African American soldiers is slowly being addressed and corrected, a vacancy still remains at New Market Heights, site of perhaps the most significant event in African American military history.
During the summer of 2018, BNMHMEA founding member Tim Talbott, met with Price to discuss the possibility of correcting the New Market Heights memorial void. Soon the project began picking up momentum to where it is today.
The mission of the BNMHMEA is to commemorate and educate. We seek to erect a historical monument at the site of the Battle of New Market Heights honoring the United States Colored Troops who served in the Third Division of the XVIII Corps (Army of the James). Among these men were fourteen African American soldiers and two white officers who received the Medal of Honor for acts of heroism on September 29, 1864. We also seek to educate the public about this significant military victory by the United States Colored Troops.
Educating, inspiring, and uniting Americans by commemorating and learning about the bravery and determination of the United States Colored Troops who fought at the Battle of New Market Heights.
Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association Board of Directors
Bryan A. Cheeseboro is a historian of the American Civil War Era and a board member of The Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington. He is a military and civilian reenactor and the Reenactor Coordinator for the Alliance’s annual Fort Stevens Day event. He is the creator of The Civil War Era Historian’s Page on Facebook. He has been a featured speaker at Civil War Roundtables in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, and various other programs and podcasts. He has authored articles featured in Civil War focused publications. Bryan is a native Washingtonian and works for the U.S. National Archives in Washington D.C.
Dr. Barbara Ann Gannon is currently an associate professor of history at the University of Central Florida. She received her B.A. from Emory University, an M.A. from George Washington University, and a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University. She published The Won Cause: Black and White Comradeship in the Grand Army of the Republic in 2011,which is an examination of the black and white members of the Union Army’s largest veterans’ organization. This book received the Wiley-Silver Prize (University of Mississippi) for the best first book on the Civil War. Her second book, Americans Remember their Civil War, published in 2017 examines Civil War memory from 1866 to the present. In addition, she co-authored Pennsylvania: A Military History in 2016 with Christian B. Keller and the late William A. Pencak. She has been invited to present her work to a wide variety of academic and public audiences. Currently, she is the coordinator for UCF’s Community Veterans History project, an oral history project that records the experience of Central Florida’s veterans. She is a veteran of the United States Army.
Natonne Elaine Kemp is a native Washingtonian and a family historian researching ancestors from the District of Columbia, South Carolina, and Virginia. From 2011 – 2013, she served as the editor of Homeplace, the official newsletter of the Old Edgefield District African American Genealogical Society (OEDAAGS). In November 2017, she and her co-author, the late Edna Gail Bush, self-published their book, There Is Something About Edgefield: Shining a Light on the Black Community through History, Genealogy & Genetic DNA (Rocky Pond Press). The book won the 2018 International AAHGS Book Award for Non-Fiction: Education. Natonne appeared as co-host and acted as guest host of the BlogTalkRadio show, Bernice Alexander Bennett’s Research at the National Archives and Beyond. In 2019, Natonne became the sole operator of the publishing company, Rocky Pond Press, which published its second title, Virtue of Cain: From Slave to Senator-Biography of Lawrence Cain, a remarkable story about a prominent Black Republican during Reconstruction from Edgefield, South Carolina.
Donald Edward King is Partner at McGuireWoods LLP where he specializes in international transactions, especially energy and infrastructure related projects. He is a graduate of Harvard University School of Law and a member of the American Civil War Museum Board of Directors. Donald is also Chair of American Civil War Museum Foundation and President of the Honor the 14 Foundation.
James S. Price is the Director of Education for the US Army Women’s Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia. He received his M.A. in Military History from Norwich University in 2009. His first book, The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will Be Theirs by the Sword, was nominated in the nonfiction category for the 15th annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards. The Journal of Southern Historyclaims “this slim volume offers considerable insight regarding the black military experience.” His second book, The Battle of First Deep Bottom, was released to critical acclaim in 2014. Jimmy writes about different aspects of the Civil War on his blog, Freedom by the Sword: A Historian’s Journey through the American Civil War Era and has contributed essays to A Companion to the Meuse-Argonne Campaign (edited by Dr. Edward G. Lengel), Hallowed Groundmagazine, and the International Encyclopedia of the First World War. He lives in Fredericksburg with his wife and four children.
James K. Sims retired as a Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army. Under his tutelage, he has accumulated over 33 years of active military service, which included more than five combat deployments. During his position as Command Sergeant Major, James never shied away from his duties and in fact, ensured efficient execution on every level. This included a period as the former Senior Enlisted Advisor for the Commanding General of the Army Materiel Command, a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and the Army’s Senior Enlisted Logistician. His extensive strategic leadership and logistics experience afforded him the ability to align personnel and resources with organizational initiatives. These initiatives delivered top-notch supply chain management and distribution solutions to improve standards in productivity, efficiency, and quality. James is the first Command Sergeant Major in the history of the Quartermaster Corps to rise from private E-1 to E-9 at the four-star level. His notable assignments ranged from 3rd U.S. Infantry “Old Guard”, 82nd Airborne Division, and 7th Special Forces Group.
Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood is the Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro. He received his BA in 1988 and his MA in 1990 from North Carolina Central University and his Ph.D. in early U.S and African-American history from The Ohio State University in 1997. He has taught at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and the University of Memphis. Before becoming the Interim Vice Provost, he was Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University. He is the author of several books and articles including; The atlas of African American History And Politics: From the Slave Trade to Modern Times and Bertie County: An Eastern North Carolina History. He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, fellowships and grants including; The University of North Carolina Board of Governors, Gov. James E. Holshouser Jr. Award, for Excellence in Public Service, awarded by the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors. He has also participated in the award-winning UNC-TV film documentary “The Birth of A Colony: North Carolina,” and the newly released UNC-TV documentary. “Unlocking the Doors of Opportunity: The Rosenwald Schools of North Carolina,” He serves on several additional boards including; the Tryon Palace Board of Commissioners appointed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.
Timothy R. Talbott is the Chief Administrative Officer for the Central Virginia Battlefields Trust. He is formerly the Director of Education, Interpretation, Visitor Services, and Collections, at Pamplin Historical Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. Talbott is the founding member and President of the Battle of New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association. He earned bachelor’s degrees from Milligan College (Communications) and East Tennessee State University (History) and a master’s of arts in Public History from Appalachian State University. Tim maintains the Random Thoughts on History blog and has published articles in both book and scholarly journal formats.
Roland L. Waddell is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has over 30 years of diversified broadcast, cable and media experience in business development, distribution, marketing and sales. Roland has worked for leading media companies such as, The Weather Channel, The Disney Channel and USA Today. He launched and operated Onyxx Communications, which provides visual communications solutions to corporate and government clients. The firm is currently developing an episodic television series called “Hidden Heritage” and a history film about George Moses Horton, an African-American poet from North Carolina, the first to be published in the Southern United States.