Four Ypsilantians participated at this iconic moment, the liberation of Charleston, South Carolina. Entering the ruins of the town singing “John Brown’s Body,” the freedom fighters of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry liberate the citadel of the Confederacy on February 21, 1865. Dozens of other Black Ypsilanti soldiers would enter Charleston the following days with the 102nd USCT and 54th Massachusetts Infantry.
All three units would go on to participate in several actions together along the South Carolina coast, raiding plantations and storehouses, while tearing up rail tracks. At the very end of the war, these units participated in Potter’s Raid in which over 2000 enslaved people were liberated.