Glory and the 54th Massachusetts Infantry

The formation of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry in 1863 was a significant event in American history. There have been a few movies and movie posters which reflect this moment in history as well. There are a variety of online resources available to anyone interested in learning more about the events surrounding the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, the notable names connected with it, and its battles. Here are several places to begin your search into the history making days of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry.

During the Civil War, John Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, decided to create new fighting regiments that included black soldiers. Consequently, the first black volunteer regiment called the 54th Massachusetts Infantry came into being. The members of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry were free black men living in the north who were eager to go into battle as loyal citizens of the Union. To venture further into the beginnings of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry visit US Civil War. An excellent site that shares information about the 54th Massachusetts Infantry in the form of an exciting recollection of events is located at, History Net. For yet another perspective, the movie Glory is based on the experiences of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. You can find an essay that discusses the movie and its historical accuracy at, Civil War Memory.

Colonel Robert Shaw and Sergeant William Harvey Carney are just a couple of the famous names of soldiers written into Civil War history for their heroic acts with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Bostonian Colonel Robert Shaw was a young man when he took command of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry. Along with leading the raid on the city of Darien, in Georgia, he also led soldiers in an attack on the Confederates at Fort Wagner in South Carolina. The courageous Shaw was killed in the move on Fort Wagner and was buried with his soldiers. Sergeant William Harvey Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during the fight at Fort Wagner. While under heavy fire and despite his wounds, he put his life at risk to protect the colors of the flag. You can find further information on these and other notable people connected with the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, at: Red Stone, Black Hawk, Mass Hist, and, AAHASC.

The 54th Massachusetts Infantry's most famous battle, for many reasons, is the one that took place near Charleston, South Carolina. The group of Union soldiers attacked the Confederate troops at Fort Wagner where Colonel Shaw was killed and many more soldiers were lost or wounded. Although the battle was won by the Confederate side, news of the heroic actions of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry made its way back home, prompting more black soldiers to enlist to help the Union effort. For more descriptions and facts on the battles of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, consider these two sites: Battle Of Olustee, and, Free Pages Genealogy. Additional information about black soldiers involved in the Civil War is at: American Civil War.

When the Civil War ended, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry disbanded. More material that explores the people and events connected to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is available online at:

54th Mass

Mass Moments

Civil War Reference

I Boston


The 54th Massachusetts Infantry will always hold a place of honor in American history.