The Battle Of The American Civil War Essay

840 Words Oct 12th, 2016 4 Pages
The American Civil War was fought from 1861-1865. It was a turning point for this still young nation. One of the many units that fought for the North was the 54th Massachusetts, a unit of all free black men. The men in this unit were all free when they volunteered to join and fight. Though promised differently, the men of the 54th Massachusetts did not receive the same pay as a white soldier of the same rank. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and his men were one of the main units in the assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina. The 54th Massachusetts was the first black unit for the US Army and paved the way for so many after, and also dissolved many stereotypes. President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1963, at that time blacks could join the armed forces (History.com, 2010). In February 1863, the governor of Massachusetts issued orders to form the first black unit in the Union Army. Governor John Andrew wanted a commander who shared his antislavery beliefs, and he chose 25 year old Robert Gould Shaw (Burchard, 1965). Shaw joined the New York 7th Infantry when the war started (Civilwar.org, 2016). Shaw took command of the unit and never wavered in his resolve to show what his new unit could do (Pohanka, 2006). The black men were free, and as such, they had to choose to fight. Shaw was very reluctant to lead the new regiment as he was young. He had been involved in the battles of Cedar Mountain and Antietam (Civilwar.org, 2016). On February 5,…

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