You’ve probably heard the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and how the all-African-American regiment led a valiant but unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner, Morris Island, South Carolina on July 18, 1863, during the American Civil War.
Sergeant William H. Carney, born into slavery in Virginia, escaped and was one of more than 60 men to join the 54th Regiment in New Bedford. Carney was seriously injured in the assault on Fort Wagner, but saved the flag before it hit the ground when the flag bearer fell. For this, Carney was eventually awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
There is a mural depicting the New Bedford Gathering on the side of the Freestones building in downtown New Bedford.
There are many stories of bravery and heroism associated with the Civil War. One such story involved the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Wikipedia states that the regiment was “composed of volunteers from the State of Rhode Island who served in the Union Army during the American Civil War”.
The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment was organized in 1861 in Providence. Wikipedia says: “The regiment was originally assigned to the IV Corps of the Army of Northeast Virginia (later the Army of the Potomac) and saw its first combat action at the First Battle of Bull Run at Manassas.”
The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment suffers heavy casualties at Manassas.
While the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Regiment fought bravely at Manassas, it was involved in a number of other key Civil War battles, including Gettysburg.
A monument honoring the 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Regiment was erected at Gettysburg.
A Guide to New Bedford Memorial Tanks and Guns
New Bedford has a large assortment of military hardware scattered throughout the city to honor various veterans organizations. See them all listed here.