On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry — the nation’s first all-Black infantry unit — stormed South Carolina’s Fort Wagner, which guarded the Port of Charleston. Colonel Robert Shaw, their white commander, assembled 600 soldiers to wait just outside Fort Wagner’s fortified walls, then led the men over the walls at nightfall.
In February 1863, Massachusetts Governor John Andrew issued the Civil War’s first enlistment call for Black soldiers. More than 1,000 men from Massachusetts and other states volunteered to serve, including Frederick Douglass’s sons, Charles and Lewis. Governor Andrew selected Colonel Robert Shaw, a young white officer, to lead the nation’s first Black infantry unit.
Full article @ EJI, A History of Racial Justice