Free Interpretive Center Open House & Lecture to Highlight Stories of St. Mary’s County’s U.S. Colored Troops Medal of Honor Recipients

September 7, 2023

St. Mary’s County Government’s Museum Division is excited to announce a special two-part event highlighting the profound and significant contributions of St. Mary’s County’s U.S. Colored Troops and Medal of Honor recipients.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) Interpretive Center in Lexington Park will be open to the public with free admission, offering exhibits on USCT Medal of Honor recipients and those who fought in the Battle of New Market Heights.

That evening, a free lecture featuring author James S. Price, writer of “The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will be Theirs by the Sword”, will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Lexington Park Library.

The public is encouraged to head to the USCT Interpretive Center to learn about two St. Mary’s County Medal of Honor recipients who served in the 38th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Colored Troops and fought for the Union during the Civil War. These two men were awarded the highest honor for their valor and bravery during this battle in 1864.

On the trail between the Lexington Manor Passive Park and John G. Lancaster Park, you can read about the Civil War era in St. Mary’s County and African American troops on the interpretive panels that lead to the USCT Memorial Statue. There is also an exhibit on the segregated school system in St. Mary’s, including information about the Drayden African American Schoolhouse, which is open by appointment and on the first Saturday of the month, April through October.

Following the open house, the public is invited to attend a free lecture at the Lexington Park Library at 6:30 p.m., featuring James S. Price, author of “The Battle of New Market Heights: Freedom Will be Theirs by the Sword,” a book that recounts the story of the U.S. Colored Troops and the bravery and valor they displayed at the Battle of New Market Heights during the American Civil War.

Price is a Civil War historian and educator who specializes in the history of African American Union soldiers. He is a member of the board of the New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association, which is dedicated to raising public awareness of the important role the U.S.

In lieu of a speaker’s fee, Mr. Price has asked that donations be made to the New Market Heights Memorial and Education Association; donations will be collected at both events.

The U.S. Colored Troops Interpretive Center is located at 21675 S. Coral Drive, within Lexington Manor Passive Park in Lexington Park, MD. For more information, please call (301) 994-1471 or visit

Special thanks to the following organizational partners who made these events possible, including the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions (UCAC), St. Mary’s County Library, and the African and African Diaspora Studies Program at St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

About the St. Mary’s County Museum Division: The St. Mary’s County Museum Division was established by the Commissioners of St. Mary’s County to collect, preserve, research, and interpret the historic sites and artifacts which illustrate the natural and cultural histories of St. Mary’s County and the Potomac River. These sites include St. Clement’s Island Museum, Piney Point Lighthouse Museum, the Old Jail Museum, and the Drayden African American Schoolhouse. With this as its charter, the Museum Division serves as a resource, liaison, and community advocate for all St. Mary’s County public and private cultural assets. For more information, please visit: