They Died For Their Country

Union Monument in Concord, MA

It is sometimes easy to forget in this turbulent world of Civil War memory that these men died for the country that all of us call home.

[I took this photograph earlier today in Concord, MA.]

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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13 comments… add one
  • Rick Frese Jun 23, 2015 @ 5:38

    In August, 2014, I petitioned the Town of Concord to add George Washington Dugan’s name to the Civil War Monument, as Concord’s 49th fallen soldier. Prominent local historians and museum curators have supported this Initiative. Having stated a compelling case for his inclusion, supported by documentation, I am hopeful that the Board of Selectmen will approve the request.
    [ I understand that state officials have endorsed it ]. Dugan was among the 52 listed as MIA following the heroic attack at Fort Wagner in July, 1863.The reality is, these men were piled into a mass grave by Confederate soldiers. [ Some time after the engagement, the rebel soldiers themselves revealed the details of this mass burial ].
    I have every confidence that Dugan’s service to town and nation will be honored. [ You will note that there is space just above the 56th regiment, to add his name and unit designation to the tablet ].
    Rick Frese
    Author: Concord and the Civil War: From Walden Pond to the Gettysburg Front

  • Rick Frese May 30, 2014 @ 12:17

    In my book, “Concord and the Civil War: From Walden Pond to the Gettysburg Front”, I identify George W. Dugan as the only soldier of color from Concord to serve in the Civil War. His name is not among the 48 that appear on the memorial mounument in Concord, perhaps because his residence is illegible on the enlistement form. As such, there is some doubt as to his legal residence at the time of his enlistment. I think the town should consider including him among the fallen from that war. I plan on pursuing this.

  • Chris Evans May 21, 2013 @ 15:19

    Since we are discussing Massachusetts troops I would like to bring up the book ‘Mother, May You Never See the Sights I’ve Seen: The Fifty Seventh Massachusetts Veteran Volunteers in the Army of the Potomac 1864-1865’ by Warren Wilkinson as a amazing modern regimental history.

    The horror of the Overland Campaign and Petersburg plus what happened to prisoners of the regiment at Andersonville is about as moving as it gets.

    I think every Civil War buff should read it.

    I’ll have to check the astounding roster contained in it if any were from Concord.


    • Kevin Levin May 21, 2013 @ 16:27

      It’s an excellent book.

  • Pat Young May 20, 2013 @ 17:55

    They list a Lynch and McCafferty from the “Irish” 9th. Early infiltrators of Yankeedom?

  • JE May 20, 2013 @ 4:22


    I see at least one member of the 54th, George W. Dugan (missing/supposed killed at Ft. Wagner), as having been a resident of Concord at the time of his enlistment. I stopped looking after I found his name but given that there was one, we may assume there would have been at least a few more.

    • Kevin Levin May 20, 2013 @ 4:29

      Thanks. I should also point out that the 55th Mass’s regimental flag is on display at the Concord Museum.

  • Will Hickox May 19, 2013 @ 16:24

    W.J. Rorabaugh’s essay “Who Fought for the North in the Civil War? Concord, Massachusetts Enlistments” is an excellent, relatively early look at Northern communities and volunteerism.

    • Kevin Levin May 19, 2013 @ 16:36

      It is, but Rorabaugh doesn’t mention any black soldiers if I remember correctly.

  • Scott A. MacKenzie May 19, 2013 @ 15:19

    Should it concern us that the units skip over the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry?

    • Kevin Levin May 19, 2013 @ 15:20

      Did any residents of Concord fight in the 54th or 55th?

      • Scott A. MacKenzie May 19, 2013 @ 15:25

        Maybe some did, and even died in service, yet the creators of the monument excluded them. If memory serves, it took 30+ years for the Shaw Memorial – aka 54th Massachusetts Memorial – to be erected before the State House.

        • Kevin Levin May 19, 2013 @ 15:27

          I don’t believe so. There are other monuments in Massachusetts that do include their names, including one very close to my home in Hyde Park.

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