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*On this date in 1863, The 55th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was formed. This was the sister regiment of the Massachusetts 54th Volunteers during the latter half of the American Civil War.
The enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation by United States President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, opened the way for the enlistment of free men of color and newly liberated slaves to fight for their freedom within the Union Army. As the ranks of the 54th Massachusetts quickly reached its full complement of recruits, an overflow of colored volunteers continued to pour in from several other states outside Massachusetts.
Many of whom had not arrived in time-prompting Governor John Albion Andrew to authorize yet another regiment of colored soldiers sponsored by the Commonwealth. Thus, the 55th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry came into being. The 55th infantry was mustered out on September 23, 1865.