These online, searchable data sets serve as a resource for finding soldiers and officers who served in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment between February 1863 and August 1865. Data include the person’s age, enlistment and mustered out dates, place of enlistment, profession at enlistment, rank, and company. Over 1,500 men are listed in the data sets below.
Data sets have been divided according to whether an individual mustered in as an enlisted soldier or as a commissioned officer. Additional details will be added to the data sets as we continue to research and update information. Drawing from these data sets, the interactive map below showcases the national, even international, composition of the 54th. As Massachusetts did not have a large enough Black population to fill the ranks of the 54th, recruitment took place across the country as well as Canada and the West Indies. Please note, these points on the map indicate where the soldier enlisted, not their birthplace. Many formerly enslaved soldiers hid their origins and birthplaces from recruiters. Also note, some recruits who had fled enslavement to Canada or elsewhere enlisted once they returned to the United States.
If you're interested in seeing some of the faces behind the names, please visit the Massachusetts Historical Society's digital gallery on the 54th Regiment.
Soldier and Officer Database
This table includes the names of individuals who served as enlisted soldiers with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.
This table includes the names of individuals who served as commissioned officers with the 54th Massachusetts Regiment.
Emilio, Luis F., A Brave Black Regiment: History of The Fifty-Fourth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry 1863-1865, New York, NY: Da Capo Press, 1995.
“National Gallery of Art.” The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, n.d. https://www.nga.gov/collection/sculpture/fifty-fourth-regiment.html.
Last updated: February 14, 2023