Monday, March 18, 2019

African-american Troops In The Civil War: The 54th Massachusetts :: essays research papers

African-American legions in the Civil War The 54th mom     The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was organized in early 1863 by RobertGould Shaw, twenty-six social class old member of a prominent Boston abolitionist family.Shaw had earlier served in the Seventh parvenu York National Guard and the SecondMassachusetts Infantry, and was ap toped colonel of the Fifty-fourth inFebruary 1863 by Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew.     As one of the first opaque units organized in the northern states, theFifty-fourth was the object of great interest and curiosity, and its actwould be considered an important indication of the possibilities surrounding theuse of blacks in combat. The regiwork forcet was composed primarily of free blacks from end-to-end the north, particularly Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Amongst itsrecruits was Lewis N. Douglass, password of the famous ex-slave and abolitionist,Frederick Douglass.     After a p eriod of recruiting and training, the unit proceeded to theDepart custodyt of the South, arriving at Hilton Head, South Carolina, on June 3,1863. The regiment earned its greatest fame on July 18, 1863, when it lead theunsuccessful and controversial assault on the Confederate positions at bombingWagner. In this desperate attack, the Fifty-fourth was placed in the vanguardand over 250 men of the regiment became casualties. Shaw, the regiments youngcolonel, died on the crest of the enemy parapet, shouting, "Forward, Fifty-fourth"     That princely charge, coupled with Shaws death, made the regiment ahousehold name throughout the north, and helped spur black recruiting. For theremainder of 1863 the unit participated in siege operations around Charleston,before boarding transports for Florida early in February 1864. The regimentnumbered 510 officers and men at the opening of the Florida Campaign, and itsnew commander was Edward N. Hallowell, a twenty-seven year old merchant fromMedford, Massachusetts. Anxious to avenge the Battery Wagner repulse, the Fifty-fourth was the outdo black regiment available to General Seymour, the Unioncommander.     Along with the showtime North Carolina Colored Infantry, the Fifty-fourthentered the fighting late in the day at Olustee, and helped save the Union armyfrom complete disaster. The Fifty-fourth marched into battle yelling, "Threecheers for Massachusetts and seven dollars a month." The latter referred to thedifference in pay surrounded by white and colourize Union infantry, long a sore pointwith colored troops. Congress had just passed a bill correcting this and givingcolored troops equal pay. However, word of the bill would not reach these troopsuntil after the battle of Olustee. The regiment lost eighty-six men in thebattle, the lowest number of the three black regiments pre move. After Olustee,the Fifty-fourth was not sent to participate in the bloody Virginia campaigns

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