Historic Markers Across Alabama

The Capitol City Guards

Marker ID: AHA 
Location: Dexter Ave., Montgomery, AL
County: Montgomery
Coordinates: N 32° 22.643    W 086° 18.345
  32.37738333    -86.30575
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMCTFE


The Capitol City Guards
1885 - 1905

In July 1885, the state Adjutant General authorized the organization of a black infantry company known as the Capitol City Guards. Joseph L. Ligon was elected captain. Over the next 20 years, the Capitol City Guards were a source of tremendous civic pride in the African-American community. They participated in formal inspections, drills, and encampments, as well as in Emancipation Day parades and annual commencement exercises at Tuskegee Institute. Drill meetings were held at Dorsette Hall at 216 Dexter Avenue.

At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Capitol City Guards, commanded by Capt. Abraham Calvin Caffey, helped form Co. A, Third Alabama Volunteer Regiment. Although Alabama's black regiment never saw foreign duty, it remained in service longer than any other volunteer unit in the state.

The Capitol City Guards was the only black militia unit remaining in service in Alabama after the Spanish-American War, remaining on detached service until it was disbanded in 1905. After the demise of the Capitol City Guards, over 60 years would pass before Alabama would again admit African Americans into its National Guard.

End of The Capitol City Guards