Thursday, November 10, 2011
Fight for Equality
Colonel E.N. Hallowell continued Commander Shaw’s fight for equal pay and on September 28, 1864 Congressed passed a bill guaranteeing just that. Black soldiers would be paid equally and in full for their service dating back to their first enlistment date. The regiment returned to Boston in September of 1865 and disbanded later that year with the end of the Civil War. Their monument on the Boston Common, constructed by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, was unveiled in 1897.
The soldiers of 54th Massachusetts regiment were pioneers in many ways. The regiment consisted of decorated men who accomplished many firsts for African-Americans in service and their camaraderie was essential in fighting for and gaining equal pay. These men played a pivotal role in securing victory for the Union and for America, and their fight for equality should be remembered.