The Mass. 54th Unit Exhibit Flyer
Who were the Mass. 54th
The Mass. 54th were African Americans that some were dressed up nice and others didn't have anything except some torn cloths. Most of the men were 20-30 years old and a couple of the men being in their mid forties.
Training of the Mass. 54th
The men that were training had to get in their three lines while getting yelled at. Then walking and running through mud while learning to count and know their rankings. They didn't have guns so they had to use long sticks and poles. When they finally got guns they thought it was the best thing in the world. But when they had shooting practice they didn't like shooting things while having shots go off right next to their ears.
As they showed up at camp most of the men were not wearing shoes while walking through puddles. They were brought in while white men watched and called out names to them. The white men told them to go home because they didn't need them to fight. Some of the white generals said that there was no way that the colored regiment would ever see any real action/fighting.
Their Arrival in South Carolina
The men were very nervous and kinda scared returning back to South Carolina. Knowing that it was a Slave State. Sergeant Rowling got promoted to the highest rank he could get and he was very surprised by that. That got the men's hopes up and they weren't worried about returning anymore because they were celebrating.
Their 1st Assignment in South Carolina
They got their first assignment and the reason was to get supplies but that was not the real reason for the assignment. The real reason was to liberate the town and burn down the houses. They burned all the houses and took anything that looked or was valuable.
No fighting Just Manual Labor for Mass. 54th
They didn't get to fight after that because they were then put to manual labor. The whites made them pull logs so they could build hut like structures. They also had to cut down trees and get fire wood for the whites fires that night.
Their 1st Battle Assignment on James Island
Their first battle they actually had was with the confederacy which they (confederacy) came in on horses first which the 54th took out almost every single man on a horse. Then they (confederacy Calvary) retreat and then come the infantry men which they got into had to had combat fighting. The 54th made them retreat killing a lot of their men and only having 42 casualties from themselves. Meaning on 42 of their own men were either killed or wounded.
The Mass. 54th Volunteers for the Attack on Fort Wagner
Colonel Shaw volunteered his regiment for the attack on Fort Wagner. The African American men were just having fun and singing songs while they waited the night before the attack. They were also saying prayers that they would defeat and fight these men and give them all they got. The white men were sitting there drinking their minds away waiting for themselves to die.
The Attack on Fort Wagner
As the 54th was walking down the beach they were in their lines and then all the sudden the white regiments were chanting for the 54th. The men were all in line and then Shaw let the kids go to the back and Thomas was their after just being shot and came back to fight again. Shaw wanted to know if the man holding the flag was to be shot who would carry the flag.
The 54th started off slow then they picked up speed, they finally get to a full charge when they start getting shot at. A lot of the people are hit as they are running toward the Fort. They wait until night to push the final attack. As they were climbing up the walls they were shot and a lot of men were killed. They ran to the center but they were attacked by two canons that they did not think would be in the center of the fort. After the battle the men were just buried in a big trench in the sand. They never took the fort with half of the 54th regiment dying.