1865 : Michigan African American Troops Help Liberate Charleston, South Carolina

February 21, 2024 all-day
 one or more people, crowd and outdoor

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.

Source : South Adams Street circa 1900 Facebook Page, August 16, 2017

Note:  About a dozen of Ypsilanti’s African American troops joined the legendary 54th and 55th Massaschutt Infantry regiments.  The vast majority however joined the 1st Colored Michigan Regiment which was later reorganized as the  102nd U.S. Colored Troops.  Source: South Adams Street circa 1900 Facebook Page, February 22, 2018.·