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The 54th Massachusetts leaves Boston for active service in South Carolina

Robert Gould Shaw, photograph, 1863, detail
05/28/1863
Governor Andrew had authorized the raising of the 54th Massachusetts in March 1863 as one of the first official black units in the Union Army.  Recruits from all over the country had joined, including two sons of Frederick Douglass.The regiment trained at Fort Meigs near Boston and left for action in South Carolina on this day, parading through crowded city streets with their white commander, twenty-five year old Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, at their head.  Their most famous action, the bloody assault on Fort Wagner, was only two months away.  (By John Osborne)
 
Source Citation: 
"54th Regt. Mass. Vol. : Leaves For the Field," Boston Evening Journal, May 28, 1863, p. 2.

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