Christina A. Sharik

THE 54th MASSACHUSETTS

We volunteer to take Fort Wagner, sir!
Their young commander said –
knowing when all was said and done
in sand and dunes, they would lie dead
They’d all prayed the night before
prayed for strength and freedom
something to make worthwhile a War
in which they’d not been treated well
and yet, they fought and went through Hell……
Pick up the banner once it’s dropped
don’t ever quit till the whole thing’s stopped
Quick step, double time, on the run
and they were blasted by a great gun.
When the smoke cleared, they lay where they fell
broken and bleeding, but their faces would tell
of the awesome pride they felt, in each other,
considering themselves as brother and brother
and when they were laid to rest that day
in a grave of sand, by the sound of the waves;
next to a sea that was whipped with weather
white and black, they slept together
Former owners and Former Slaves.

The Gallant Charge Of The 54th Massachusetts (Colored) Regiment
The Gallant Charge Of The 54th Massachusetts (Colored) Regiment on the Rebel works at Fort Wagner, Morris Island near Charleston, July 18, 1863, and death of Colonel Robert G. Shaw