Puget Sound region to commemorate 150th anniversary of Civil War’s end

Dec. 15, 2015

TACOMA… The brutality of the American Civil War finally ended in 1865. On Dec. 18, 2015, the Washington State History Museum will help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the cessation of hostilities and the end of slavery in the United States. 

“We have a star-studded lineup of speakers and performers to help us commemorate the end one of the most decisive and impactful conflicts in our nation’s history,” said John McCarthy, retired Pierce County Superior Court Judge and supporter of the Puget Sound Civil War Round Table, the organization putting on the event. “In addition, we’ll be celebrating the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. There will be performers in period clothing, singers, authors, and community leaders to help in the commemoration.” 

Featured speakers include University of Washington (UW) History Professor Quintard Taylor, who will speak about the impact of the war on America, public historian Lorraine McConaghy, who will discuss how the war affected those in Washington Territory, UW Law Professor Hugh Spitzer, who will discuss the impact of the 13th Amendment on ending slavery, and others. 

A U.S. Army quintet and color guard from Fort Lewis will perform, as will dramatic storyteller Eva Abram who will read letters from slaves. In addition, authors Nick K. Adams, Lance Weller and Michel Schein will be on hand. The event will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Washington State History Museum, located at 1911 Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. Admission is free. 

“This event wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors,” McCarthy added. “I want to thank the Round Table, the Washington Civil War Association, the Fort Steilacoom and Tacoma Historical Societies, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldier’s Museum, the Pierce County Black Collective, the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association, and the NAACP for their wonderful contributions.”


Mike Movius, Puget Sound Civil War Round Table

Susan Rohrer, Washington State Historical Society