still mustering

untitled (54th Regiment Memorial detail) 2005

From the Boston African-American National Historic site:

Denied equal pay, African American soldiers in the 54th Regiment refused pay for 18 months until Congress agreed, in 1864, to pay them the same rate as White soldiers. In the midst of intense opposition by the government and the public, Colonel Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment struck a blow for American freedom and proved that racial unity ultimately triumphs over hatred. The high relief bronze statue, designed by renowned sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, is a testament to this triumph. Financed primarily through a fund established by Joshua B. Smith - former slave, state representative, caterer, and former employee in the Shaw family household - the monument was dedicated in a ceremony on Boston Common in 1897. This ceremony was attended by Booker T. Washington, Sargent Carney, and Charles Elliott, then president of Harvard University. The engraving on the back of the monument is taken from Elliott's dedication speech. In 1982, 64 names of soldiers from the city of Boston who died at the Battle of Fort Wagner were inscribed at the bottom on the back of the monument.

If you haven't seen it, I highly reccomend the film "Glory" with Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes and Matthew Broderick. It is the story of the 54th Massachusetts, and it is great.