Crafting Your Experience

InspirationHistory
National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Contraband and the Road to Freedom

How the actions of three African-American men paved the way to emancipation during the Civil War

  • 1.

    The Contraband

    The Contraband

    Former slaves known as "contraband" became a major force for change in the Civil War

  • 2.

    Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery

    Contrabands and Freedmen Cemetery

    Burial ground and monument honoring the contrabands and freedman lost fighting for the Union

  • 3.

    Fort Ward

    Fort Ward

    A thriving Reconstructionist community of former "contrabands"

  • 4.

    Hampton University

    Hampton University

    Education thrived in contraband camps, spawning what became Hampton University

  • 5.

    Fort Monroe

    Fort Monroe

    Fort Monroe soon became known as Freedom's Fortress to enslaved African-Americans fleeing bondage

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