They came from 22 states- farmers, engineers, and students, boatmen, barbers, and stonecutters. Most were in their twenties: but some were as young as sixteen, and many were in their forties. They were the 54th Regiment of Massachusetts, the "Glory" regiment. They were black men, who risked their lives for the Union cause.
Although treated like second-class soldiers, their gallant assault on Fort Wagner erased all doubt about their ability to fight. By the end of the Civil War, they had proved their courage and determination as they fought to free their brothers and sisters from slavery.