York Town Square

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Black soldiers from York County served in USCT ‘Glory’ unit – Part I

Four soldiers from York County served in the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, highlighted in the 20th-century film “Glory.”
George Ellender was wounded in the assault on Fort Wagner, S.C., that took the life of regiment commander Col. Robert Gould Shaw. He was wounded a second time in Olustee, Fla… .

Aaron Cummings was also wounded in Olustee.
George Batson a Peach Bottom farmer, and William Freeman, a Lower Chanceford Township farmer, also served in the regiment.
This information came from the research of the late Gary Collison and his student researchers.
I picked it up from York County Heritage Trust files and put it in my book “East of Gettysburg.”
The fact is that not enough blacks could be recruited from Massachusetts to fill the ranks of a regiment so recruits from other states filled in the unit.
It has been said that writers of history must stand on the shoulders of those who came before them.
Collison and numerous others have provided an abundance of material for present-day writers of York/Adams history.
Visit Part II here.
– For a post on another black soldier from York County see: Pension battles offer insight into Civil War.
– For more posts on black history, see York Town Square’s black history category.
– For a black history quiz, see: A short quiz on your black history knowledge..