The fifty- fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiment came into existence in 1863 under the leadership of Colonel Robert Shaw. It was the first military body composed of black soldiers who supported the union army in the American civil war. Before the endorsement of emancipation proclamation in 1862, federal service unit did not credit recruitment of black soldiers on the premises that they had no qualification and capability to deliver quality services as military personnel. However, the enactment of emancipation proclamation by the Congress paved way for inclusion and recruitment of black soldiers in the union army (Blair, 67). State governors had the moral obligation of raising regiment services in the nation by recruiting black soldiers; an idea that led to establish of fifty-fourth regiment unit in Massachusetts State.
The civil war in American lasted for four years and involved the Union army from the north that fought against union army in southern states. The involved states had a disagreement on the extension of slavery on western states thus triggering the civil war. During the war period, the fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment played a crucial role in supporting federal services in fighting against the south union army, but they were of symbolic importance. The union army leaders allowed black soldiers lead in the battlefields so that to prevent the white soldiers from being killed and injured. During the war, more than 600,000 soldiers died, but most of them were blacks (Vierow, 95). Before the war erupted, the fifty- fourth Massachusetts regiment had attacked Fort Wagne; South Carolina; an idea that escalated enmity between the two parties. Based on this fact, the south union army blamed the Fifty-forth regiment; mainly composed of black soldiers for causing the civil war.
The fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment supported the federal army in the civil war by providing courageous and determined military personnel. The African-American soldiers worked in unison with their counterparts under the union army umbrella and fought against confederate militia (Wilder, 104). They also conveyed intelligence information to union army thus enabling them defeat their enemies.
A monument was constructed by Augustus Gauden as a way of commemorating the contribution made by fifty-fourth Massachusetts regiment during the American civil war. The monument was constructed at Boston region and forms part of Boston heritage trail; an idea that marks the legacy of Fifty-fourth Massachusetts service.
Blair, jayne. he Essential Civil War: A Handbook to the Battles, Armies, Navies And Commanders. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Print.
Vierow, wendy. The Assault on Fort Wagner: Black Union Soldiers Make a Stand in South Carolina Battle. London: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2003. Print.
Wilder , Green. Practicing Medicine in a Black Regiment: The Civil War Diary of Burt G. Wilder, 55th Massachusetts. New York: Univ of Massachusetts Press,, 2010. Print