EDINBURG -- On Sunday, May 22, the Museum of South Texas History continues its Speaker Series when MOSTH Senior Curator, Barbara Stokes, presents African Americans, Civil War, and the Rio Grande Valley, from 2 to 4 p.m.† Stokesí presentation focuses on the role of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) during the Civil War and the Battle of Palmetto Ranch.

On January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued, and the recruitment of colored regiments began, offering freedom to all who enlisted.† Not long after the formation of USCT, black troops arrived on the Rio Grande at Brazos Santiago and at Fort Brown.† By the end of the Civil War, almost 2,000 Union soldiers were stationed in South Texas, about 75 percent of whom were part of the USCT.† The Battle of Palmetto Ranch was the first major battle for the 62nd USCT, proving their worth as soldiers.

A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Stokes has spent 40 years in public relations, communications, and public history. Since 2006, she has been the senior curator of archives, collections, and programs at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg, Texas, managing one of the largest repositories of historical documents, photographs, maps and newspapers in South Texas.† MOSTH invites the community to join us for this special Sunday Speaker Series that sheds light on an important part of our regional history.

The Sunday Speaker Series is included in the regular museum admission.† FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDships. For information on the event or becoming a FRIEND of the Museum, call 956-383-6911 or visit www.mosthistory.org.† The Museum of South Texas History is located at 200 N. Closner Blvd. on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square in downtown Edinburg.