Then and Now: 54th Regiment in Boston

The Boston Transcript has this comment upon the reception and departure of the 54th colored regiment: “Since Massachusetts first began to send her brave troops into the field, not a single regiment has attracted larger crowds into the streets than the 54th. The contrast between the present and a few years since could not fail to be noticed. It requires only a small effort of memory to revert to the time when the power of the city, State and country, united to force back a forlorn and almost friendless bondman to the fetters he had broken.  Now a thousand men of the same race march proudly through our avenues, to fight under the protection of the State and nation, against the defenders of the institution which has imbruted so man of their own blood, and now threatens the very existence of the government …..

                                                 (Liberator, June 26, 1863, pg 3)