Reenactor/living historian Ludger Balan discusses the Civil War’s US Colored Troops


Ludger Balan is with New York-based CHE Nautical & Enviro Edutainment, a non-profit group that researches and interprets African Heritage History in Colonial America and World History. The organization facilitates the work of reenactors and living historians who provide education about historical figures and events from the 17th, 18th, 19th centuries.

The video is a brief interview with Balan at the commemoration/celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Camp William Penn, AKA Camp Penn, in September 2013. Camp Penn, located just outside of northwest Philadelphia, was a federal site that was dedicated to training African Americans who enlisted in the United States Army during the American Civil War. Just under 11,000 men of African descent were trained at the site. Camp Penn took in men from Pennsylvania, and also nearby Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey. These men were part of the United States Colored Troops (USCT).

Balan, who was a reenactor/living historian at the event (he does living history for other periods as well, such as the War of 1812), spoke for a few minutes about the importance of telling the story of the US Colored Troops, his passion for the subject, and his hopes for getting the story to the mass of African Americans who might not be aware of this vital part of their history.


The video above is also from the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Camp William Penn, September 2013. Balan and fellow reenactor/living historian Derrick James are showing visitors how soldiers trained and used their weapons. The event was attended by several dozen USCT living historians who discussed several aspects of camp life and military service. See also this previous blog post.

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One thought on “Reenactor/living historian Ludger Balan discusses the Civil War’s US Colored Troops

  1. Alan, thank you so much for talking with me at the museum on Saturday, May 7, 2016, and for sharing your insights into the event we’ll be hosting at St. Paul’s Elkins Park on June 19th. I look forward to again working with representatives of Camp William Penn.

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