Memorial Day Ceremony at Philadelphia National Cemetery

When: Monday, May 27, 2024 at 10:00 AM
Where: Philadelphia National Cemetery, 6909 Limekiln Pike, Philadelphia, PA 19138

Immediately following the Memorial Day ceremony, there will be an unveiling of Private Warrick’s newly installed headstone. Private Warrick served with the 127th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment, mustered out of Camp William Penn. His headstone was incorrectly engraved for nearly 160 years. We are acknowledging the new stone with honors.  

Afterward, we welcome you to join us at Camp William Penn Museum for light refreshments and a complimentary tour of the museum.

National Cemetery

Philadelphia National Cemetery (PNC) contains the remains of nearly 13,000 veterans from the Civil War and later conflicts, along with spouses and dependents.

One thousand US Colored Troops and Seamen are interred at PNC.  At least two hundred of these soldiers perished while training at Camp William Penn.

Camp William Penn Museum

1618 Willow Avenue, La Mott PA 19027

Here was Pennsylvania’s only training camp for African-American soldiers and the largest of 18 in the nation during the Civil War. Comprising over 10,000 men, 11 regiments of US colored troops were trained here; the 3rd, 6th, 8th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 32nd, 41st, 43rd, 45th, and 127th. The first recruits arrived on June 26, 1863. Many were to fight in Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. The camp closed on August 14, 1865.

Visit to learn more about Camp William Penn and to search USCT listings.
Phone: 215-885-2258 or Email:

Save the Date: February Black History Lecture

When: Sunday, February 25, 2024; 3:00 PM
Where: Zoom, pre-registration required
Who: Dr. Holly Pinheiro Jr.

Dr. Holly Pinheiro Jr. is an assistant professor of African American History at Furman University and will talk about how freeborn northern African Americans struggled to maintain families while fighting against racial discrimination. In his recent book, The Families’ Civil War, Dr. Pinheiro, provides a compelling account of the lives of USCT soldiers and their entire families. The intersections of gender, race, class, and region will be examined to illuminate experiences of northern USCT soldiers and their families.

This is a free Zoom event. Reservations are necessary. To reserve a virtual seat, send an email to and you will be sent a link giving you access to the presentation.

Camp William Penn and Historic La Mott Day

Opening Ceremony: 10:00 AM, Saturday, September 23, 2023
Michael Coard, attorney, radio host, activist will be speaker

Where: La Mott Community Center, 7420 Sycamore Ave., La Mott, 19027

Event will acknowledge the 160th anniversary of establishment of the United States Colored Troops and Camp William Penn

  • Visit USCT encampment.
  • Listen to the USS Lehigh CW Navy Living History Crew.
  • Visit Camp William Penn Museum.
  • Living History demonstrations including ammunition making.
  • Hear archivist talk and demonstrate paper and book conservation.
  • See demonstrations of mid 1800’s building and carpentry techniques.
  • Civil War Medical and Surgical instrument ‘show and tell’.
  • Book signings, Lectures, Period Music, Films.
  • La Mott History display.
  • Civil War games and activities.
  • Visit graves of CWP soldiers at Philadelphia National Cemetery.
  • Local history organizations with tabletop displays and information.

Closing ceremony: 3:45 at Flagpole (corner Sycamore and Willow)

Camp William Penn, located in what is now modern day La Mott, was the first and largest Federal training site for colored soldiers during the Civil War.

Note: Volunteers needed for help in all aspects of this event; some starting now and some the day of the event. Ideas and suggestions are also welcome. If you are able to help or participate, please use contact information below.

Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott
1618 Willow Avenue, La Mott, PA 19027
Phone: (215) 885-2258

Free Online Presentations

  • Date: Sunday, February 26, 2023
  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Where: Zoom, pre-registration required (see below)

“A Splendid Specimen of Physical Manhood”: The Post-War Journey of a United States Colored Infantry Soldier

Presented by Dr. Robert Hicks

Prestley Dawson enlisted in the 43rd Regiment, United States Colored Infantry (USCI) in 1864 and trained at Camp William Penn. He participated in fighting at the siege of Petersburg, Virginia, and completed service in Brownsville, Texas. He was lamed from falling breastworks in the Petersburg trenches and contracted malaria while in service. After the war he settled in Maryland and raised a family as a farmer but endured lifelong health problems because of his war experiences. Many studies have examined the general experiences of USCI regiments, but a deeper story emerges when we examine the individual lives of African American veterans. Dawson’s story illustrates how wartime wounds and diseases shaped his post-war life, one example of how veterans defined themselves because of how wounds, disease, and healing altered their bodies.

About the Presenter

Senior Consulting Scholar and William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. For over a decade he served as director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library. He has worked with museum-based education and exhibits for over three decades.
His most recent book, Civil War Medicine: A Surgeon’s Experience, appeared in 2019 by Indiana University Press. This lecture is based on a book in progress, Wounded for Life: Seven Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Readings from Straight to the Point

Dr. Gail A. Dawson, Associate Professor of Management and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Tennessee, commenting and reading poems from her book Straight to the Point relating to her heritage as great granddaughter of Prestley Dorsey/Dawson.


To reserve a virtual seat for this event send an email to You will be sent a link with a password giving you access to the presentation.
We look forward to having you join us.

This program is funded in part by the Jenkinstown Lyceum.

Citizens for the Restoration of Historical La Mott, 1618 Willow Avenue, La Mott, PA 19027
Visit to learn more about Camp William Penn and to search USCT listings.