“We Fight for Men and Women Whose Poetry has Not Yet Been Written…” Remembering Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts 


Many years ago my Dad and I watched the movie Glory together. At the end of the film our eyes glistened with tears. My Great Great Grandfather William Henry Halstead served with the 29th Colored Regiment CT so Glory has a special place in my heart. Descendants of the 54th and the 29th have gathered together many times to honor our brave ancestors.

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When it learned that the Federal Government was recruiting African Americans, both free men and former slaves as soldiers the Confederate Congress issued this proclamation:

“Any negro taken in arms against the Confederacy will immediately be returned to a state of slavery. Any negro taken in Federal uniform will be summarily put to death. Any white officer taken in command of negro troops shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection and shall likewise be put to death.”

Those who doubt that the leaders of the Confederacy fought the war for any “state right” other than the maintenance and expansion of slavery needs to look at the actions and words of that racist republic.


One hundred and fifty-four years ago today one of those African American regiments went into action against the Confederate works at Battery Wagner, outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The 54th was raised…

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