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Encyclopedia > 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry
54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry

Massachusetts state flag
Active May 13, 1863 to August 20, 1865
Country United States
Allegiance Union
Branch Infantry
The Storming of Fort Wagner, the most famous battle fought by the 54th Massachusetts

The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, an infantry regiment that fought in the American Civil War, was one of the first official black units in the United States armed forces.[1] An earlier regiment of black freedmen, the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, had fought alongside George Washington in the Revolutionary War. Image File history File links Flag_of_Massachusetts. ... is the 133rd day of the year (134th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... is the 232nd day of the year (233rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1865 (MDCCCLXV) is a common year starting on Sunday. ... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... The Storming of Ft. ... The Storming of Ft. ... Infantry of the Royal Irish Rifles during the Battle of the Somme in World War I Infantry or footmen are very highly disciplined and trained soldiers who fight primarily with small arms(rifles), but are trained to use everything from their bare hands to missle systems in order to neutralize... British regiment A regiment is a military unit, consisting of a variable number of battalions - commanded by a colonel. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action, 258,000 total... poop. ... The 1st Rhode Island Regiment also known as 9th Continental Regiment was raised on May 8, 1775 under Colonel James Mitchell Varnum outside of Boston, Massachusetts for service with the Continental Army. ... George Washington (February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799)[1] led Americas Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. ... The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a war fought primarily between Great Britain and revolutionaries within thirteen of her North American colonies. ...

Contents

History

The regiment was organized in March 1863 by the Governor of Massachusetts, John A. Andrew, and commanded by Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, sprang to life after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton decided white officers would be in charge of all "colored" units, and Colonel Shaw was hand picked by Governor John A. Andrew himself. The rest of the officers were painstakingly evaluated by Shaw. The soldiers were recruited by white abolitionists (including Shaw's parents). These recruiters included J. Appleton[2], also the first man commissioned in the regiment, whose recruiting efforts included posting a notice in the Boston Journal[3] and holding a recruiting rally[4]. This recruitment group was later known as "The Black Committee". The 54th Massachusetts was composed of primarily free men. A number of the recruits were from states other than Massachusetts, with several coming from Pennsylvania and New York. Two of the recruits were sons of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Soon afterwards, a second black regiment, the 55th Massachusetts, was organized and began training. This is a complete list of the governors of Massachusetts, including: governors of the Plymouth Colony, governors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, presidents of the Dominion of New England, colonial governors of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, and governors of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... John Albion Andrew (1818 - 1867) was a U.S. political figure. ... For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863) was the colonel in command of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which entered the American Civil War in 1863. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Emancipation Proclamation Reproduction of the Emancipation Proclamation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio The Emancipation Proclamation consists of two documents issued by United States President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. ... The Secretary of War was a member of the United States Presidents Cabinet, beginning with George Washingtons administration. ... The Running Machine An 1864 cartoon featuring Stanton, William Fessenden, Abraham Lincoln, William Seward and Gideon Welles takes a swing at the Lincoln administration. ... This article is about the abolition of slavery. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... This article is about the state. ... Frederick Douglass, ca. ...


The 54th left Boston to fight for the Union on May 28, 1863. It started off performing only manual labor. The regiment gained notoriety in a raid on the town of Darien, Georgia, after being ordered to loot and burn the town by Col. James Montgomery. The 54th's participation in this raid was minimal and reluctant. Colonel Shaw initially objected to what he called a "Satanic action", but was forced to capitulate when Montgomery threatened to imprison Shaw and put the 54th directly under his own command. Montgomery's regiment was allowed to break ranks and loot at will, whereas Shaw's men were orderly and only took those supplies that would be useful at camp.[citation needed] Nickname: City on the Hill, Beantown, The Hub (of the Universe)1, Athens of America, The Cradle of Revolution, Puritan City, Americas Walking City Location in Massachusetts, USA Counties Suffolk County Mayor Thomas M. Menino(D) Area    - City 232. ... In this map:  Union states prohibiting slavery  Union territories  Border states on the Union side which allowed slavery  Kansas, which entered and fought with the Union as a free state after the Bleeding Kansas crisis  The Confederacy  Confederate claimed and sometimes held territories During the American Civil War, the Union... is the 148th day of the year (149th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Darien is a city located in McIntosh County, Georgia. ... James Montgomery was a civil war colonel, born in ohio. ... This article is about the concept of Satan. ... This article is about the institution. ... Rank (Military formation) A line of military personnel, drawn up in line abreast (i. ...


The regiment's first action took place in a skirmish with Confederate troops on James Island, South Carolina, on July 16. The regiment repulsed a Confederate assault, losing 42 men in the process. James Island is a large triangular island in the Atlantic very near Charleston, South Carolina. ... is the 197th day of the year (198th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The regiment gained international fame on July 18, 1863, when it spearheaded an assault on Fort Wagner near Charleston, South Carolina. Of the six hundred men that stormed Fort Wagner, one hundred and sixteen, including Colonel Shaw, were killed. Another hundred and fifty-six were wounded or captured[5]. Although the Union was not able to take and hold the fort, the 54th was widely acclaimed for its valor, and the event helped encourage the further enlistment and mobilization of African-American troops, a key development that President Abraham Lincoln once noted as helping to secure the final victory. Decades later, Sergeant William Harvey Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor, for grabbing the US flag as the flag bearer fell, carrying the flag to the enemy ramparts and back, and saying "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!" While other African-Americans had since been granted the award, Carney's is the earliest action for which the Medal of Honor was awarded to an African-American. is the 199th day of the year (200th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... The Storming of Fort Wagner Fort Wagner (also called Battery Wagner) was a fortification on Morris Island, South Carolina, that covered the southern approach to Charleston harbor. ... Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... For the fortification of food, see Food fortification. ... For other uses, see Abraham Lincoln (disambiguation). ... Sgt. ... The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. ... The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. ...

The Battle of Olustee
The Battle of Olustee

Ironically, during the week leading up to the 54th's heroic sacrifice near Charleston, simmering racial strife climaxed in the New York Draft Riots. African-Americans on the city's waterfront and Lower East Side were beaten, tortured, and lynched by white mobs angered over conscription for the Union war effort. These mobs directed their animosity toward blacks because they felt the Civil War was caused by them. However, the bravery of the 54th would help to assuage anger of this kind. Battle of Olustee. ... Battle of Olustee. ... Combatants Anti-Union rioters United States of America Commanders Unknown John E. Wool Casualties 100 civilians The New York Draft Riots (July 13 to July 16, 1863; known at the time as Draft Week[1]) were a series of violent disturbances in New York City that were the culmination of...


Later in the war, the 54th fought a rear-guard action covering the Union retreat at the Battle of Olustee. As part of an all-black brigade under Col. Alfred S. Hartwell, they unsuccessfully attacked entrenched Confederate militia at the November 1864 Battle of Honey Hill. In mid-April 1865, they fought at the Battle of Boykin's Mill, a small affair in South Carolina that proved to be one of the last engagements of the war. Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America Commanders Truman Seymour Joseph Finegan Strength Division (5,500) District of East Florida (5,000) Casualties 1,861 946 The Battle of Olustee or Battle of Ocean Pond was fought near Lake City, Florida, on February 20, 1864, during the American... Lebanese Kataeb militia A Militia is an army composed of ordinary [1] citizens to provide defense, emergency or paramilitary service, or those engaged in such activity. ... The Battle of Honey Hill was the third battle of Shermans March to the Sea, fought November 30, 1864, during the American Civil War. ... // Site of the last Union officer killed in action during the American Civil War, Boykin’s Mill also hosted the final battle on South Carolina soil. ... Official language(s) English Capital Columbia Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32° 2′ N to 35° 13′ N  - Longitude 78° 32′ W to 83...


Legacy

Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment by Augustus Saint-Gaudens
Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment by Augustus Saint-Gaudens

The regiment was disbanded after the Civil War, but retains a strong legacy. A monument, constructed 1884 – 1897 by Augustus Saint-Gaudens on the Boston Common, is part of the Boston Black Heritage Trail. A famous composition by Charles Ives, "Col. Shaw and his Colored Regiment," the opening movement of Three Places in New England, is based both on the monument and the regiment. Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Metadata No higher resolution available. ... Augustus Saint Gaudens, 1905 Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Dublin, March 1, 1848 - Cornish, New Hampshire, August 3, 1907), was the Irish-born American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the American Renaissance. ... Augustus Saint Gaudens, 1905 Augustus Saint-Gaudens (Dublin, March 1, 1848 - Cornish, New Hampshire, August 3, 1907), was the Irish-born American sculptor of the Beaux-Arts generation who most embodied the ideals of the American Renaissance. ... Image:Boston common Boston Massachusetts USA.jpg Boston Common in 2005, with the State House looming in the background 1890 Map of Boston Common and the adjacent Public Garden View of the Water Celebration, on Boston Common, October 25th 1848 Boston Common Engraving For the television series, see Boston Common... The Black Heritage Trail is path in Boston, Massachusetts, winding through the Beacon Hill neighborhood and sites important in American black history. ... This photo from around 1913 shows Ives in his day job. He was the director of a successful insurance agency. ... The Three Places in New England (Orchestral Set No. ...


Colonel Shaw and his men also feature prominently in Robert Lowell's Civil War Centennial poem For the Union Dead (1964); some of the most powerful lines appearing in this stanza: Robert Lowell (March 1, 1917–September 12, 1977), born Robert Traill Spence Lowell, IV, was a highly regarded mid-twentieth-century American poet. ...

Shaw's father wanted a monument
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his 'others.'
Detail from Saint-Gauden's orginial tinted plaster model
Detail from Saint-Gauden's orginial tinted plaster model

A Northern officer had asked for the return of Shaw's body but was informed by the Confederate command, "We buried him with his niggers."[6] Shaw's father wrote in response that he was proud that Robert, a fierce fighter for equality, had been buried in that manner. "We hold that a soldier's most appropriate burial-place is on the field where he has fallen" (Ibid.) As a recognition and honor, at the end of the Civil War, the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, and the 33rd Colored Regiment were mustered out at the Battery Wagner site of the mass burial of the 54th Massachusetts. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 1. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 1. ... The Storming of Fort Wagner Fort Wagner (also called Battery Wagner) was a fortification on Morris Island, South Carolina, that covered the southern approach to Charleston harbor. ...


More recently, the story of the unit was depicted in the 1989 Academy Award winning film Glory starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher. The film re-established the now-popular image of the combat role African-Americans played in the Civil War, and the unit, often represented in historical battle reenactments, now has the nickname The Glory Regiment. Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... This article is about motion pictures. ... Glory is a 1989 Academy Award-winning drama based on the history of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment during the American Civil War. ... Matthew Broderick (born March 21, 1962) is a Tony Award-winning American film and stage actor who is perhaps best known for his roles as the title character in Ferris Buellers Day Off and Simba in Disneys The Lion King. ... Denzel Hayes Washington, Jr. ... Dawsons Creek director, see Morgan J. Freeman. ... Ivan Simon Cary Elwes (born October 26, 1962) is an English actor credited as Cary Elwes, best known for his performances in The Princess Bride, Robin Hood: Men in Tights and Saw. ... Andre Braugher (born July 1, 1962) is a two-time Emmy Award-winning American actor. ... A Civil War reenactment is an effort to recreate a particular battle or similar event associated with the American Civil War by hobbyists known as Civil War reenactors. ... EXAMPLE:Laughbox,Blondie,BamBam,Pinkie,etc. ...


Years after the film was made, it came to light that the word Glory was used by one of the men of the regiment. First Sergeant Robert John Simmons, of B Company, was a twenty-six year old Bermudian clerk, probably from St. George's, believed to have joined the 54th on 12 March 1863. (Many black and white Bermudians fought for the Union, mostly in the U.S. Navy. Many more profiteered from the war by smuggling arms to the South.) Simmons was introduced to Frances George Shaw, father of Col. Shaw, by William Wells Brown, who described him as "a young man of more than ordinary abilities who had learned the science of war in the British Army". In his book, The Negro in the American Rebellion, Brown said that "Frances George Shaw remarked at the time that Simmons would make a 'valuable soldier'. Col. Shaw also had a high opinion of him". Sgt. Simmons was mentioned in an 1863 article of the Weekly Columbus Enquirer, which described him as "a brave man and of good education. He was wounded and captured. Taken to Charleston, his bearing impressed even his captors. After suffering amputation of the arm, he died there." The newspaper also described him as saying that he fought "for glory". Simmons, who has been specially mentioned among the enlisted men of the 54th, and who had been awarded a private medal, died in August 1863, following the attack on Fort Wagner.[7] St. ... is the 71st day of the year (72nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1863 (MDCCCLXIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... William Wells Brown (November 6, 1814 – November 6, 1884) was a prominent abolitionist lecturer, novelist, playwright, and historian. ...


Total strength and casualties

The 54th Massachusetts suffered at least 116 officers and enlisted men who were killed in action or who died of their wounds and 1 officer and 160 enlisted men who died of disease, for a total of 270 fatalities.[8]


Significant members of the regiment

Suck my dick For other uses, see Colonel (disambiguation). ... Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863) was the colonel in command of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which entered the American Civil War in 1863. ... Stephen Atkins Swails (1832-1900) was a black soldier in Union Army during the American Civil War and later a lawyer and politician. ... Sgt. ...


See also

List of Massachusetts Civil War Units // 1st Company Massachusetts Sharpshooters 2nd Company Massachusetts Sharpshooters 1st Battalion Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1st Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (3 Month Militia) 3rd Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry (9 Month Militia) 3rd Battalion Massachusetts Rifles 4th... William Lloyd Garrison In the years leading up to the American Civil War, Massachusetts was a center of abolitionist activity within the United States. ...

Notes

  1. ^ The 1st South Carolina Volunteers, recruited from freed slaves, was the first Union Army regiment organized with African-American soldiers. The 54th Massachusetts was the first such regiment recruited from a Northern state.
  2. ^ Burchard, Peter. One Gallant Rush: Robert Gould Shaw and His Brave Black Regiment. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1965): 77-78
  3. ^ the text reads: "To Colored Men: Wanted. Good men for the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers of African descent, Col. Robert G. Shaw (commanding). $100 bounty at expiration of term of service. Pay $13 per month, and State aid for families. All necessary information can be obtained at the office, corner Cambridge and North Russell Streets."
  4. ^ held in Joy Street Church and in which speakers Edward L. Pierce and Wendell Phillips encouraged free blacks to enlist for the regiment
  5. ^ According to 54th Mass casualty list
  6. ^ McPherson, James M. Drawn with the Sword: Reflections on the American Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996. 104
  7. ^ Mark E. Mitchell Collection of African American History.
  8. ^ http://www.civilwararchive.com/Unreghst/unmainf5.htm#54th The Civil War Archive website after Dyer, Frederick Henry. A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion. 3 vols. New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1959.

Slave redirects here. ... The 21st Michigan Infantry, a company of Shermans veterans. ... An African American (also Afro-American, Black American, or simply black) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ...

Further reading

  • Emilio, Luis F., A Brave Black Regiment: A History of the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: 1863-1865 (Boston: The Boston Book Company, 1891).
  • Cox, Clinton, Undying Glory: The story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment.
  • ed. Duncan, Russell, Blue-eyed Child of Fortune: the Civil War Letters of Robert Gould Shaw, (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press)
  • Glory a movie about Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, and the 54th infantry

Glory is a 1989 Academy Award-winning drama based on the history of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment during the American Civil War. ... Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863) was the colonel in command of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, which entered the American Civil War in 1863. ...

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