i too, started on a journey that led me into an intensive search through national libraries, archives, private collections, historical societies and etc. i soon found in my search that there was an equally capable sister to the 54th massachusetts regiment as depicted in the movie "glory", namely the 55th massachusetts (colored). except for a published diary kept by a colonel fox, little or nothing has been done to elevate the 55th-to their rightful place in history; namely, the front lines. i had to move swiftly to get behind the 55th mass and follow them on a journey that had an end, but not even i knew where.
my conclusion was that there were a considerable number of books written about the civil war yet the majority of these books, until lately, had devoted little more than-a line, a page or two to-the efforts on a particular colored regiment or for that matter mentioned any participation in the civil war by colored troops - in general. i also found that a considerable amount of the history was either buried in basements' archives or scattered in ten or more rare collections which served no utility unless brought to the attention of 'the general public. those books, rare in number that did devote more than a page on the colored man's regimental activities during the civil war invariably concentrated totally on the military life which could prove unpalatable to the general reader. my course soon became clear, that is, i was compelled to lift some of these treasures buried in basements, rare book rooms and the like, so that our readers would know the colored soldiers of the 55th, and how they were treated and thought of from the time they were recruited until they were mustered out. you will want to know how the state of massachusetts, the antislavery governor and surrounding states, the white and colored people, the congress, the war department, the white officers and the southerners influenced the shaping of the 55th mass regiment (colored) and their final outcome.