More than 200,000 African Americans volunteered to fight in our Civil War. The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment became the most famous African American unit after its heroic attack on Fort Wagner in July of 1863. Details of this battle are easily available and I encourage you to become familiar with them. The award-winning movie Glory depicts the fighting in stunning detail. I offer here a primary document, a letter written by 54th soldier Edgar Dinsmore nearly a year after the climactic battle. Private Dinsmore’s graceful words detail a soldier’s daily thoughts and concerns.
This unit was endorsed by the Civil War Trust Teachers Regiment.