Stop 3: 54th Regiment

Colorful etching of the storm of fort wagner.

Stop 3: 54th Regiment

54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Old Tobey & Coggeshall Building Location)

21 Barkers Lane
New Bedford, MA 02740

Black and white photo of the Tobey Coggeshall building

Stop 3: Tobey Coggeshall Building

Located directly next to the United States Custom House, the Tobey & Coggeshall Building served as the recruiting office for Company C of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Company C during the Civil War. Around 25%, or 33 of the men to sign up here, were from New Bedford. The building was later demolished and the site is now home to the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Plaza, also referred to in town as the Custom House Square.

From the fountain, cross the street to the parking lot. A stately mural, located at 41 William Street, was installed in 2015 as a memorial to the contributions of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Many of these brave men were wounded or killed. In one of their most heroic moments at the Battle of Fort Wagner, Sergeant William Carney earned the Medal of Honor, the first man of color receive one. The 5 scenes here depict the artist’s rendition of their storied past. Does the man in the long brown coat in the central panel look familiar? Frederick Douglass! The former slave from Maryland became a prominent leader of the abolitionist movement ( As author, public speaker, and politician, he became an integral part of American history. The ideals of the 54th and Frederick Douglass are deeply intertwined with Civil Rights, Freedom, and Equality. Much like the men leaving on whale ships, they were unsure of their odds for success and a safe return home.

Colorful mural representing different depictions of the 54th regiment

Stop 3: 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment Mural

(Located in the parking lot)
41 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740


Last updated: February 4, 2021

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33 William Street
New Bedford , MA 02740



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