US Colored Troop Memorial Statue Unveiling & Dedication Ceremony
Posted on 05/29/2019
On June 8, join us for a statue unveiling and dedication ceremony community event from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Ivers Square in Downtown Cape Girardeau. 

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During the event, at 11 a.m., descendants of the Ivers family will unveil a statue erected in Ivers Square honoring those who enlisted in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War. 

The statue was designed by renowned sculptor Roy W. Butler and was completed Feb. 12 by foundry artisans in Utah. It is the final casting from a mold that had been used to create two other statues located in the Nashville National Cemetery and Freedom Park in Helena, Ark.

Ivers Square, formerly known as Courthouse Park, was renamed for Harriet and James Ivers in 2017. Ivers Square was the place James Ivers and other slaves enlisted in the Union Army.

Local historians and preservation enthusiasts Denise Lincoln, Dr. Steven Hoffman and Bonnie Kipper spearheaded the drive to obtain the statue, partnering with Old Town Cape. 

The statue project was made possible through the generous support of The Bank of Missouri, a private foundation, with additional support from First Presbyterian Church, the Hutson family, Isle Casino Cape Girardeau, and other private donors as well as a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council.

The day's activities will include a cameo by Marlene Rivero as Harriet Ivers. Rivero of Grand Chain, Ill., is a performance artist who portrays African American women in history. Marvin-Alonzo Greer of the Missouri History Center and the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum at St. Louis will portray Rev. Spotswood Rice. Rice, a former USCT soldier, who pastored Cape Girardeau St. James AME Church in 1870. There will be tributes by the Marine Corps Color Guard and the Turner Brigade, a group of local Civil War re-enactors, as well as several musical performances.