The 54th Regiment Memorial
These fellas are revolutionary!
On our Freedom Trail walking tour you'll stop by a large memorial just across from the New State house. Be sure to stop for a moment on the walking tour because it's history changed the USA as we know it! Let me tell you a little about their story. You can listen to the story by clicking the button on the right.
On evening of July 18, 1863 the 54th regiment looked across a muddy field. Just 1600 yards away stood the heavily fortified Fort Wagner, A key position overlooking Charleston Harbor.
The odds were against them. But that was nothing new for the men of the 54th. As the second African American regiment ever in US history and as African Americans who had been bound in chains for centuries, fighting against the odds was all they knew.
Many of these men enlisted immediately after Lincoln signed the emancipation proclamation. That was the first-time black men were allowed to join the Union Army and fight for their own future.
The proclamation stated, "that all persons held as slaves shall be free."
But that freedom depended on the victory of the Union Army.
The men of the 54th readied themselves for battle, they knew they did so at great risks. If they were captured, they would be sold back into slavery in the deep south.
With a shot and a great roar,
the men rose and charged the confederate army. Leading the pack was Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, riding fearlessly with his sword drawn.
As the bullets came flew in their direction men fell. But the majority pushed ahead. Their flag bearer was shot, and as the flag fell it was caught by William Carney, who raised the flag and pushed forward for freedom. That day Carney was shot 3 times and never let the flag touch the ground, later he proudly told the regiment “Boys, the old flag never touched the ground!” For his heroic actions he was the first African American awarded the medal of honor.
The 54th fought ferociously that day. Nearly half of the men were killed, captured or injured, including the death of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, during the battle. Even though they did not win the battle, they inspired a nation. By the end of the war almost 200,000 black soldiers had fought for the Union Army in the Civil war. And due to the 54th Regiments efforts President Lincoln himself said that they inspired a nation and secured the final victory.
To discover Boston's Freedom Trail on our solo walking tour get the WalknTours app on the App Store or Google Play. It's the walking tour app with tours in cities all around the USA. It's a Solo Tour that you can take anytime and go at your own pace. Revolutionary and Convenient!
2 Ways to Purchase this Tour:
To start your solo walking tour of the Freedom Trail get the WalknTours app and go to the Boston Common Visitors center entrance. When you get there click start tour.