District of Columbia's Council has announced plans to establish a Civil War memorial honoring the 185,000 black soldiers who fought with the Union Army.

According to council member Frank Smith, “This will be the only memorial in the country dedicated to all the black freedom fighters from the Civil War, and the first to include every soldier from every regiment in the Union Army.”

The design will be a freestanding statue and 70 granite slabs engraved with names of soldiers by regiment. The site selected will be at a metro stop on U Street.

Cost of the memorial will be approximately $200,000, half of which has been budgeted by the council and the remainder in private donations for research at Howard University to certify and authenticate the names to be inscribed.

The memorial has already received donations in excess of $50,000 from private sources.