54th Regiment

Topics: Frederick Douglass, American Civil War, Slavery in the United States Pages: 1 (340 words) Published: May 10, 2013
The 54th regiment fought with passion and courage in the Civil War made up by mostly free black slaves who stood for justice. The 54th was the first black regiment led by Robert Gould Shaw who was a brave Colonel from a very wealthy abolitionist family in Boston, who had links to President Abraham Licoln. The 54th regiment from Boston faced many disadvantages. Three of those disadvantages were economic, social and political challenges that they had to battle as colored soldiers. The 54th regiment were put through a lot stretches and hardship as they were not treated as they should have been. The first black regiment stood for what they believed in and fought for the freedom of slaves and the preservation of the United States.

Getting a Chance

Many former slaves joined the military in South Carolina’s Voluntary Regiment. Many were slaves who had run away from Georgia and Florida. However, in the north, in New England they had free black men who created the most famous black regiment, which was called the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. There was one problem; there were few black men that lived in Massachusetts. The governor of Massachusetts whose name was John A. Andrew set up a committee of influential black men from New England it was called The Black Committee and it included the well-known playwright and abolitionist Frederick Douglas.

The members believed that if black men were willing to fight and die for the Union it would help get rid of cultural and institutional racism. Frederick Douglas famously said, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S.; let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship” (African American Odyssey; 271). What he meant was that in a time when most people, including President Abraham Lincoln, opposed emancipation and were against enlisting black soldiers, that their...
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