Supporting the 54th

Item contributed by Library of Congress

Various sources record that Sojourner Truth supported soldiers throughout the Civil War, possibly even recruiting for some US Black regiments. Here she holds a photograph of her grandson James Caldwell, who fought in Company H of the 54th Regiment. Born in New York, Caldwell enlisted in the regiment in April 1863 while living in Battle Creek, Michigan. Confederate forces captured him at Fort Wagner in July 1863. He mustered out of the regiment on May 8, 1865 in Boston. His post-war life remains unclear.1

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) 373. 

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Photograph, 1863. Liljenquist Family Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C.

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