African-American Troops in the City War: The 54th Massachusetts
The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was organized at the begining of 1863 simply by Robert Gould Shaw, twenty-six year old part of a dominant Boston abolitionist family. Shaw had previously served inside the Seventh Ny National Safeguard and the Second Massachusetts Soldires, and was appointed colonel of the Fifty-fourth in Feb 1863 simply by Massachusetts chief excutive John A. Andrew.
As one of the first dark units structured in the north states, the Fifty-fourth was your object of big interest and curiosity, as well as performance will be considered an essential indication from the possibilities adjacent the use of blacks in battle. The regiment was constructed primarily of free blacks by throughout the north, particularly Ma and Philadelphia. Amongst it is recruits was Lewis And. Douglass, child of the renowned ex-slave and abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.
After a period of recruiting and training, the unit proceeded to the Office of the To the south, arriving at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on 06 3, 1863. The routine earned their greatest popularity on Come july 1st 18, 1863, when it led the lost and controversial assault around the Confederate positions at Electric battery Wagner. With this desperate strike, the Fifty-fourth was put into the vanguard and over two hundred fifty men with the regiment started to be casualties. Shaw, the regiment's young colonel, died within the crest in the enemy parapet, shouting, " Forward, Fifty- fourth! "
That heroic charge, in conjunction with Shaw's loss of life, made the regiment a household name through the entire north, and helped encourage black hiring. For the remaining of 1863 the unit took part in in siege operations about Charleston, just before boarding transfers for Sarasota early in February 1864. The regiment numbered 510 officers and men in the opening of the Florida Plan, and its fresh commander was Edward D. Hallowell, a twenty-seven year old merchant from Medford, Ma. Anxious to avenge the Battery Wagner repulse, the Fifty- next was the greatest black regiment available to Standard Seymour, the Union leader.
Along with the Initially North Carolina Shaded Infantry, the Fifty-fourth joined the struggling with late in the day at Olustee, and helped save the Union military from complete disaster. The Fifty-fourth marched into fight yelling, " Three cheers for Ma and seven dollars per month. " These referred to the difference in shell out between white colored and shaded Union soldires, long a sore level with colored troops. Our elected representatives had simply passed a bill correcting this and giving colored soldiers equal spend. However , expression of the expenses would not reach these soldiers until after the battle of Olustee. The regiment shed eighty-six guys in the challenge, the lowest range of the three black regiments present. After Olustee, the Fifty-fourth was not brought to participate in the bloody Va campaigns of 1864-1865. Instead it remained in the Division of the To the south, fighting in a number of actions ahead of Charleston and Savannah. More than a century after the warfare the Fifty-fourth remains essentially the most well known black routine of the war, due largely to the demand for the movie " Glory", which usually recounts the storyline of the regiment prior to and including the attack on Power supply Wagner.
To raised show how a 54th sensed underfire, this is a letter house from Orderly Sergeant Watts. N. Collins of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry accounting Plotter's Raid.
" Well, we all arrived at Georgetown, S. C., on the 3Ist (March 1865), and entered camp. On the 1st of April we all started after our errand through the Condition, and had nothing to molest all of us for three days. We saw nothing with the Johnnies, and on Friday the 8th of April, for Epp's Ferry, Cos. L and A were detached from the routine to go and destroy the said Ferry. Myself, one particular corporal and fifteen privates were inside the advance. In we travelled, neither reading nor viewing any thing particularly. After evolving about two miles, and wading through water and mud, we spied a Ashton sitting...