Jul. 19, 2020

July 18, 1863 "Our Magnificent Black History: The 54TH Massachusetts Begins The Assault On Fort Wag

157 years ago yesterday a fearless group of 600 African Americans, some born freeman, some former slaves, some escaped slaves lead a glorious assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina.

This was the true indicator of the bravery that many white southerners and even white northerners were​ lacking in African Americans during that period.​ You see the feeling was that African Americans were lacking the skills and fortitude to distinguish themselves on the battlefield. Surely, the lacked the ability to lead men into battle. Hence, the absolute absence of African American officers during the Civil War.

Yet, Fort Wagner proved the skeptics totally wrong. Because not only did the soldiers of the 54TH Massachusetts perform heroically on the battlefield that night. One soldier, Sargent William S, Carney performed so heroically that his on the battlefield feat was honored by the military's highest battlefield award The Medal of Honor.

So today I honor the memory of those gallant African American soldiers who fearlessly lead the assault on Fort Wagner. These brave men weakened by a relentless march prior to the assault still managed to muster up the resources to fight fearlessly on hot July night.

The reading today comes from the ​website: http://54th-mass.org/july-18-1863, which is Written In Glory: Letters From The Soldiers And Officers Of The 54TH Massachusetts. The epic reading of the actual battle was written by Captain Emilio who ended up as the commanding officer of the 54TH after the enormous losses suffered during the assault on Fort Wagner. ​I attempted to read the words of Captain Emilio in the manner that best describes the atmosphere of the surroundings leading up to and during this intense battle,