The 54th Regiment of Massachusetts: African-American Soldiers of the Civil War

About January you, 1863, Leader Abraham Lincoln subsequently signed the Emancipation Declaration, freeing the slaves inside the rebelling areas of the confederacy and authorizing Black enlistment in the Union Army. Considering that the beginning of the Civil War, free of charge Black many people, were willing to fight for the Union, yet we were holding prevented coming from doing so. Well-liked racial stereotypes and elegance against Blacks in the armed forces contributed to the prevailing fantasy that Dark-colored men would not have the brains and braveness necessary to serve their country. By the show up of 1862, however , the possible lack of White Union enlistment and confederate victories at Antietem forced the U. S. government to reconsider its racist plan. As Our elected representatives met in October to cope with the issue of Black enlistment, several troops of Black volunteers had recently been organized, such as the First South Carolina and the Kansas Colored Soldiers. It was not until January 26, 1863, however , that secretary of war Edwin Stanton approved the acceptance of Dark troops. Because of this, the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts Offer infantry opened, becoming the first all-Black Union routine raised in the north. (Emilio 1990)

Training began for Black volunteers at Camp Meigs in Readville, MOTHER on Feb 21, 1863. Although some members of the community voiced level of resistance to the reduction of Black men coming from achieving the ranking of colonel or official, most community activists told Black males to grab the opportunity to serve in the Union forces. The worry many Dark-colored volunteers experienced about the racism of White officials and colonels was calmed when Massachusetts Governor David Andrew guaranteed Bostonians that White representatives assigned to the 54th Routine would be "young men of military knowledge, of organization anti-slavery guidelines, ambitious, superior to a ordinario contempt intended for color, and having trust in the capacity of colored men intended for military assistance. " (Emilio 1990) Claire held to his word, appointing 25-year-old Robert Gould Shaw because colonel and George L. Hallowell as Lieutenant. The son of wealthy abolitionists, Shaw have been educated in Europe including Harvard ahead of joining the seventh New york city National Safeguard in 1861. In 1862, when Chief excutive Andrew contacted Shaw's father about the prospect of having his son as colonel of the soon-to-be organized fifty-fourth, Shaw was an officer in the Second Mass...

... il Warfare battle for unity and equality. Resulting from the 54th Regiment, above 180, 500 Black men enlisted underneath the Union flag between 1863 and 1865.

The story from the "Fighting Fifty-Forth" is a true testament of how when a nation is in conflict or a time of despair they will ban jointly as one, no matter race to obtain an objective. Although they were cured unfairly and discriminated against, the 54th regiment opened the way for equality of not simply African-American troops but for most African-Americans.


Duncan, Russell, ed. Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1992.

Emilio, Luis N. A Brave Black Routine: History of the Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Ma Volunteer Soldires 1863-1865 3rd Ed. Salem, NH: Anteriormente Company Web publishers, 1990.

Glathaar, Joseph To. Forged in Battle: The Civil Battle Alliance of Black Military and White colored Officers. New york city: The Cost-free Press Inc., 1990.

O'Connor, Thomas. Municipal War Boston: Homefront and Battlefield. Boston: Northeastern School Press, 1997.

Quarles, Dernier-ne. The Marrano in the Detrimental War. New york city: Da Capo Press, 1953.

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