ACU 20


54th massachusetts (coloured) infantry regiment (see main description for battle honours)

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Organized at readville and mustered in may 13, 1863. Moved from boston on the steamer de molay bound for hilton head, south. Carolina. Attached to u.S. Forces at st. Helena island, south carolina, 10th army corps, department. Of the south, to july, 1863. 3rd brigade, 1st division, morris island, s.C., 10th army corps, july, 1863. 3rd brigade, morris island, s.C., to august, 1863. 4th brigade, morris island, s.C., to november, 1863. 3rd brigade, morris island, s.C., to january, 1864. Montgomery’s brigade, district of hilton head, s.C., to february, 1864. Montgomery’s brigade, district of florida, february, 1864. 3rd brigade, ames’ division, district of florida, to april, 1864. Folly and morris islands, s.C., northern district, dept. South, to october, 1864. 1st separate brigade, dept. South, to november, 1864. 2nd brigade, coast division, dept. South, to february, 1865. 1st separate brigade, northern district, dept. South, to march, 1865. 1st separate brigade, district of charleston, south carolina, department of the south, to june, 1865. 3rd sub-district, district of charleston, department of south carolina, to august, 1865.Battles: at thompson’s plantation near beaufort south carolina, june 4-8, 1863. Moved to st. Simon’s island june 8-9. Expedition up altamaha river june 10-11 at st. Simon’s island june 12-24. At st. Helena island june 25-july 8. To stono inlet july 8. Expedition against james island july 9-16, legaresville, secessionville, moved to morris island july 16-18. Assault on fort wagner july 18. Siege operations against forts wagner and gregg morris island, july 18-september 7, and, against fort sumpter and charleston september 7, 1863, to january 28, 1864. Capture of forts wagner and gregg september 7, 1863. Moved to hilton head, s.C., january 28, 1864. Expedition to jacksonville, florida., february 5-7. Capture of jacksonville february 6. Expedition to lake city, florida., february 7-22, olustee duty at jacksonville till april 17. Moved to morris island april 17-18. Duty on morris and folly islands, south carolina., till november, 1864. Expedition to james island june 30-july 10. Actions on james island july 2, 9 and 10. Six companies in charge of rebel prisoners under fire of charleston batteries september 7 to october 20. Eight companies moved to hilton head november 27. (cos. “b” and “f” at morris island till february, 1865.) expedition to boyd’s neck, s. C. November 29-30. Boyd’s landing november 29, honey hill, demonstration on charleston & savannah railroad december 6-9, moved to graham’s neck december 20. Connect with sherman’s army at pocotaligo, s.C., january 15, 1865. March to charleston january 15-february 23, skirmishing all the way. (cos. “b” and “f” occupy charleston february 18.) regiment on duty at charleston february 27 to march 12. At savannah, ga., march 13-27 at georgetown, s.C., march 31-april 5. Potter’s expedition to camden april 5-25. Seven mile bridge april 6. Destruction of eppes’ bridge, black river, april 7 dingle’s mills april 9. Destruction of rolling stock a wateree junction april 11. Singleton’s plantation april 12, statesburg april 15. Occupation of camden april 17. Boykin’s mills april 18. At georgetown april 25 duty at georgetown, charleston, and various points in south carolina april 25 to august 17. Mustered out at mount pleasant, s.C., august 20, 1865. Discharged at boston, massachusetts ., september 1, 1865.Regiment lost during service 5 officers and 104 enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 office and 160 enlisted men by disease. A total 270 men lost. Although the first of many coloured regiments, the 54th massachusetts infantrys flags would follow faithfully the authorised state and, national pattern. Adopting the excepted pattern for the national flags, with the unit designation painted on the flag in gold paint. The regimental flag follows the pre civil war pattern for massachusetts regiments with the flag being fielded on white silk and, a painted silk centre crest of a pine tree on the observe. On the reserve a native american is depicted. With a scroll containing the designation of the unit beneath, the central image. The flags today are held in boston, massachusetts within the state house.