54th Regiment

Massachusetts African-American volunteer infantry

  1. This was the first military unit consisting of African-American soldiers to be raised in the north during the civil war after the emancipation proclamation.
  2. One-quarter of the men who volunteered came from slave states and the Caribbean.
  3. Two of the most famous enlistees were Charles and Lewis Douglass, two sons of the abolitionist Fredrick Douglass.
  4. The African-American soldiers got paid $10 , and the white soldiers got paid $3 more .
  5. The 54th regiment was authorized in March of 1863, its significance was to show that African American men were just as brave and courageous and capable as white men were.