55th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry (Colored)
The 55th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry (Colored) was organized at Readville and mustered in June 22, 1863. They mustered out August 29, 1865, and discharged at Boston, Massachusetts. September 23, 1865.
Paul Laurence Dunbar was the son of former slaves. His father, Joshua Dunbar, served in the 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and the 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry Regiment. Paul wrote a poem about the colored soldiers’ roll in the Civil War. His poem, “The Colored Soldiers” can be found at the site Poemhunter.com. (Accessed on 6 Sept. 2011.)
For more information on the history of this unit, see:
- The Civil War Archive section, 55th Regiment Infantry (Colored), (accessed 12 July 2012).
Companies in this Regiment with the Counties of Origin
Men often enlisted in a company recruited in the counties where they lived though not always. After many battles, companies might be combined because so many men were killed or wounded. However if you are unsure which company your ancestor was in, try the company recruited in his county first.
- Beginning United States Civil War Research gives steps for finding information about a Civil War soldier. It covers the major records that should be used. Additional records are described in ‘Massachusetts in the Civil War’ and ‘United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865’ (see below).
- National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System, is searchable by soldier's name and state. It contains basic facts about soldiers on both sides of the Civil War, a list of regiments, descriptions of significant battles, sources of the information, and suggestions for where to find additional information.
- Massachusetts in the Civil War describes many Confederate and Union sources, specifically for Massachusetts, and how to find them.. These include compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
- United States Civil War, 1861 to 1865 describes and explains United States and Confederate States records, rather than state records, and how to find them. These include veterans’ censuses, compiled service records, pension records, rosters, cemetery records, Internet databases, published books, etc.
- Trudeau, Noah Andre. Voices of the 55th : letters from the 55th Massachusetts volunteers 1861-1865. (Dayton, Ohio : Morningside House, 1996, c1996), FHL book 974.4 M29t
- National Park Service, The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (accessed 4 January 2011).