54th regiment, in full fifty-fourth massachusetts volunteer infantry regiment, massachusetts infantry unit made up of african americans that was active during the american civil war (1861–65) the 54th regiment became famous for its fighting prowess and for the great courage of its members its exploits were depicted in. So shortly after 6:30 pm on july 18, 1863, union colonel robert gould shaw readied 600 men of the 54th massachusetts regiment for an assault on the fort shaw, the 25-year-old son of boston abolitionists, was white, as were all his officers the regiment's men were black the 54th would spearhead a. The robert gould shaw and massachusetts 54th regiment memorial, located across beacon street from the state house, serves as a reminder of the heavy cost paid by individuals and families during the civil war in particular, it serves as a memorial to the group of men who were among the first african americans to fight. Glory, the 54th massachusetts infantry, and black soldiers in the civil war joseph t glatthar university of houston in 1988, perhaps the most powerful film of the year was mississippi burning based on a real-life experience, it was the story of the murder of three civil rights workers in a small, 1960s. July 19, 1863/2013 volume 4, issue 29 (145 issues since 15 october 2010) the battle from the movie glory: 54th regiment massachusetts volunteer infantry, including frederick douglass's son, fights heroically at fort wagner july 18, 1863 historian james m mcpherson writes, at twilight on july 18,. The 54th, as well as the 35th united states colored troops, served as the rearguard for the union army and possibly prevented its destruction after olustee, the fifty-fourth was not sent to participate in the bloody virginia campaigns of 1864-1865 instead it remained in the south, fighting in the battles of honey hill and. There's a reason a well-known book about the 54th regiment is called undying glory for the accomplishments of this proud band of civil war soldiers—the first black army unit assembled in the northern states—still inspires today the 54th regiment came into existence with the stroke of a pen in january 1863, president. The fifty-fourth massachusetts volunteer infantry regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers to be raised in the north during the civil war prior to 1863, no concerted effort was made to recruit black troops as union soldiers the adoption of the emancipation proclamation in december of 1862 provided.
The 54th massachusetts regiment is the best known african american fighting unit formed during the civil war it was commanded by colonel robert gould shaw, a white abolitionist from massachusetts the regiment took heavy casualties during the war and gained everlasting fame. Brief history the 54th regiment, new york infantry was organized at hudson, n y, and mustered in september 5 to october 16, 1861 the regiment mustered out april 14, 1866 for more information on the history of this unit, see: the civil war archive section, 54th regiment infantry, (accessed 9 august. With lineage dating back to the civil war, the 54th massachusetts volunteer regiment (selected honor guard), preserves the history of the massachusetts national guard and renders appropriate military honors at state functions and at funeral services for veterans who have served in the military forces of the united states. The 54th massachusetts regiment of the civil war was made up entirely of african americans, except for its white officers because it was the first black regiment to be organized in the north, many were watching its progress if the regiment's performance turned out to be noteworthy, it would be the deciding factor if blacks.
Today's post comes from austin mcmanus with the national archives history office to commemorate black history month, we celebrate the story of the 54th massachusetts infantry regiment, the first african american unit of the us army these brave men served honorably during us civil war, the. Governor john a andrew of massachusetts was the driving force behind the creation of the 54th infantry he believed that the participation of black soldiers in the war would serve “as a means of 1 u s war department, the war of the rebellion: a compilation of the official records of the union and confederate armies.
The 54th massachusetts was the first black regiment in the history of the american army the unit comprised 36 white officers commanding more than 1,000 men it was established by famed abolitionist governor john a andrew in february 1863 to shore up the numbers in the union army although the state of. Fighting for glory: the history and legacy of the 54th massachusetts volunteer infantry regiment [charles river editors] on amazoncom where death and glory meet: colonel robert gould shaw and the 54th massachusetts infantry blue-eyed child of fortune: the civil war letters of colonel robert gould shaw. Mustering in the 54th massachusetts infantry regiment was the first volunteer black regiment raised in the north the ranks were filled with former slaves and free blacks the 54th was initially formed at readville, massachusetts in late february 1863 and then were mustered into service from march 30,.
The fifty-fourth regiment massachusetts volunteer infantry plaza at custom house square was dedicated by the new bedford historical society and the city of new bedford on february 12 1999 the plaza serves as a memorial to the civil war's 54th and 55th regiments, the 5th cavalry and the navy men of color from.
The total regimental casualties of 270 would be the highest total for the 54th in a single engagement during the war although union forces were not able to take and hold the fort (despite taking a portion of the walls in the initial assault), the 54th was widely acclaimed for its valor during. Lewis hayden later became a recruiting agent for the famous 54th massachusetts volunteer infantry regiment in the civil war tubman was active with the 54th and other union forces during the war, after her underground railroad days were behind her she spied on confederate forces and also worked. In february 1863, the united states raised its first army regiment of black soldiers during the civil war massachusetts gov john a andrew received approval from us secretary of war edwin stanton jan 15, 1863, to recruit persons of african descent, organized into special corps to fight for the union.