• Research Paper on:
    The 54th Massachusetts

    Number of Pages: 12


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 12 page paper describes a research proposal for a project, the subject of which is the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, one of the earliest of the black regiments recruited during the U.S. Civil War. Bibliography lists 8 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: D0_HV54Mass.rtf

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    Unformatted Sample Text from the Research Paper:
    designed to explore the following areas: the history of the regiment; important or notable people in the regiment; the battle of Ft. Wagner; and the death of Colonel Shaw. The  themes that the project investigates are the question of slavery; the idea that blacks were inferior fighters; and the relationship of Col. Shaw to his men, and by extension, the  idea of white officers leading black troops. Carrying Out the Project The research for the project is probably most reliable when it comes from primary sources, so the student will  need to find diaries, journals and other records of the time (if they exist); it would be particularly interesting if any of Shaws writings, or those of his men were  available. Searching library databases via EBSCO Host and InfoTrac Onefile has been disappointing, because so many of the documents are not available in full-text versions. Actual library research is probably  the best way to approach this, but even then resources appear limited. Despite the fact that the 54th is important as a piece of African-American history as well as being  vital to Civil War historians, there does not appear to be wide-spread public interest in the subject, at least not at this time. However, the motion picture Glory, which is  based on the regiments history, was a success and may indicate more greater in future. The student is facing a significant amount of work finding decent sources. That said, we  should note that probably the most interesting and significant part of the project is the history of the 54th Massachusetts; most of the other issues stem from that. We begin  with a fairly comprehensive article from American History magazine. The article places the recruiting of black soldiers within the context of the time, tracing the history of such units as 

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