Massachusetts 54h Regiment Research Paper

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The Massachusetts 54th Regiment - True Heroes
Halle Pearce | January 23, 2016 | Period 4

The Massachusetts 54th was the first black regiment. It was started in 1863 in the North. Blacks were not allowed in prior to President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. But afterwards, if a black was healthy and strong, he was admitted into the army. After raising money to support a black regiment, the state of Massachusetts was ready to create a regiment. According to the Massachusetts History Society, after a call went out to blacks, 25 men responded immediately. By the end of the week, there were almost 50 more. These men, coming from all over the continent - even some from the Caribbeans - could be as young as 16 years of age, yet they were all eager to fight for their rights and the salvation of the Union. There became so many eager volunteers that Governor John Andrew got more soldiers than needed. The extra soldiers were put into the 55th Regiment.
Unfortunately, these men didn’t have an easy time. For one, the South proclaimed that if they captured any black soldiers, they’d be sold into slavery. Also, these men were paid only $10 for their services, even though they were promised $13. According to the
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Many men had to struggle through many problems and discrimination. And yet, they were still willing to fight to the death. At fort Wagner many men were killed, but they still did damage to the fort. They had proved themselves to the North and the South that they were just as good as any white soldier. Both whites and blacks admired them. According to, Shaw’s parents said that they were glad their son was resting amongst such loyal soldiers when told that the south had dumped his body with “his niggers” in a ditch₁. Shaw’s parents and many other recognized what the Massachusetts 54th had done for them. Thanks to their bravery, black soldiers are respected and can still fight in the army
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