Sen. Thad Cochran, Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves and a choir highlight the program.
By Lena Mitchell
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – Another milestone in Corinth’s interpretation of its role during the Civil War will be celebrated Saturday when half a dozen life-size statues are dedicated at the Corinth Contraband Camp.
The statues tell the visual story of a thriving community of about 6,000 former slaves who lived on the grounds off North Parkway Street, behind Union lines after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in September 1862.
Special guests are U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, who helped secure federal funding for the Corinth project, and Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James Graves, the only African-American on the state’s highest court.
Guests will be entertained by a community choir and a student in the Rust College Choir singing the National Anthem.
The contraband camp is an extension of the Corinth division of Shiloh National Military Park, which includes the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center.
It broke ground in 2004 when the interpretive center opened, with plans to add the life-size bronze sculptures and further develop the site with a small cabin, additional landscaping and interpretive signage. The site also includes an expanded parking area and a walking trail.
The North Parkway site is about 21 acres. The original camp, which began as a tent city in the fall of 1862, had developed into a model camp by mid-1863, with the amenities of a small town – a church, commissary, hospital, frame and log houses, a street grid with named streets and numbered houses.
The bronzed figures sculpted for the site include a woman ironing laundry, a male farmhand with a hoe, a man helping a little boy pick up a cart of spilled books, a female teacher and student, and a black soldier standing sentry to protect the camp.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.