54th Massachusetts Infantry Term Paper

54th Massachusetts Infantry
A description of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry comprising mostly of freed black soldiers and their contribution to the Civil War.
# 5912 | 1,480 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Feb 10, 2003 in African-American Studies (Pre-Civil War) , History (U.S. Before 1865)

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This paper presents an examination of this regiment which was unique in is composition as well as its setup. The writer shows how the army's attitude in the beginning was negative, many believing that the freed slaves did not have military discipline. It describes the various battles that the regiment participated in and finally looks at the conditions of the soldiers - who were paid less, given fewer privileges etc.

From the Paper:

"The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts was organized in March, 1863 at Camp Meigs, Readville, Massachusetts, by Robert Shaw a 26 year old from Boston. This regiment was composed primarily of free blacks that volunteered from throughout the North, particularly Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. Col. Shaw was a young white officer from a prominent Boston family. He came from a family of strong abolitionists. His father had founded the National Freedman's Relief Association. Before entering the army 2 years before Shaw was studying in the best school in Europe, but he was not the best of students and did not practically like school and did not want to continue his education there for he joined the army. Two years later he was asked to head the first black regiment in the Union, he turned down his first invitation in 1863 by Massachusetts governor John A. Andrew, to head the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, but then when asked again he accept and began recruiting men for his new regiment and the first official regiment of black soldiers in the Union Army."

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