AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Civil War Tablets commemorating the over 300 soldiers from the Amherst region who served in the Union forces during the American Civil War go on display Monday at the Bangs Community Center in Amherst.
The plaques include the names of African American soldiers Christopher, John, Henry James, and Charles Thompson, who served in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment. The Thompson brothers were among the troops to arrive in Texas in 1865 to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, a day that is honored by the national holiday of Juneteenth. They were all laid to rest in West Cemetery in Amherst.
Dudley Bridges, Sr., a late resident of the Amherst community, spent the last years of his life advocating and fundraising to honor these memorials within the community. The exhibit will be guided by Debora Bridges, daughter of Dudley Bridges Sr. and descendant of the Thompson’s.
Those interested in seeing the exhibit can do so at the Bangs Community Center, located at 70 Boltwood Walk in Amherst. The exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays.