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Old 05-31-2010, 02:21 PM   #1
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Something To Remember On Memorial Day

Good afternoon As well as serving in the Army I'm also working on a Masters in Military History. I recently wrote a series of research papers on the 54th Massachusetts all volunteer infantry Regiment. Many of you may know the story or only parts of it, but id like to take a second on Memorial Day to honor these men. The 54th was an all black Regiment during the civil war, cutting to the chase these men had to overcome racism and battle the Confederates at the same time. To much surprise they did this well, the men of the 54th were mostly runaway slaves or freed slaves living in the north. I wont write another essay on here but the Confederate Congress on December 23, 1862 put out a proclamation stating
"That all negro slaves captured in arms be at once delivered over to the executive authorities of the respective States to which they belong to be dealt with according to the laws of said States. That the like orders be executed in all cases with respect to all commissioned officers of the United States when found serving in company with armed slaves in insurrection against the authorities of the different States of this Confederacy."
This doesnt sound to terrible until you realize that the confederate states had enacted draconian measures for servile insurrection and immediate execution of that person. Still the 54th stayed together as a Regiment and went on to assault Fort Wagner. If any of you have seen the area of Fort Wagner you will understand that even with the naval bombardment that lasted almost 13 days prior to the attack was not enough, Wagner was invincible. The 54th directly assaulted a fort with approximately 9 pieces of artillery and a 1800 man garrison along with a moat, traps etc. The 54th assaulted the fort with little combat experience losing 1515 men their commanding officer Robert Shaw and most of the officers in about 3 hours time, taking parts of the fort and fighting with so much courage to gain the respect of even the Confederate defenders. Most people don't realize the sacrifice until its laid out in plain English. Happy Memorial Day to all and thanks for reading.


Last edited by BozFour; 06-01-2010 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 05-31-2010, 02:50 PM   #2
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