Service of the 54th The 54th in South Carolina

Item contributed by Massachusetts Historical Society

The 54th Massachusetts Regiment arrived in Beaufort, South Carolina on June 4, 1863. On June 6, this regiment marched through the streets of Beaufort. This may have been one of the streets they marched down or frequented during their time here. Captain Luis Emilio described how, “sandy streets” were “shaded with fine oaks.”1  

The regiment only stayed in Beaufort for four days, camping at Thompson’s Plantation. While stationed here, the soldiers worked on fortifications before they left on June 8.  

Soldiers wounded at the Battle of Fort Wagner and at the Battle of Olustee returned to Beaufort, which had several Union hospitals as the area served as the Headquarters of the Department of the South.  

This photograph of a “Bay Street, Beaufort, S.C.” is included in Captain Emilio’s collection of photographs related to the regiment, now at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

1. Luis F. Emilio, A Brave Black Regiment: History of The Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865 (Boston: The Boston Book Company, 1864), 38. 

National Park Service. “54th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry (Colored).” UNION MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS. Accessed May, 2022.

About item:

Photograph, circa 1863-1864, 7.4 cm x 7.5 cm.
From the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment photographs.
Photo. 72.98.

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