|Death: ||Jul. 18, 1863|
South Carolina, USA
Pvt John Henry Brooks, Co. B, 54th Reg't Mass. Inf. Colored Troops, "Missing in Action" and presumed "Killed in Action" during the Union assault on the Confederate battery at Ft. Wagner located on Morris Island, in the harbor near Charleston, South Carolina July 18, 1863.
Born on the east shore in MD, (ca. 1827) a waterman prior to the Civil War, he is listed in the Company Descriptive Book record as married, 36 years of age, 5 feet 8 3/4 inches tall. John Henry Brooks was enlisted in the Union army by Lt. J.W. Appleton in Readville, located near Boston, MA on February 21, 1863, for a three year term.
The 54th regiment gained recognition on July 18, 1863, when it spearheaded an assault on Fort Wagner. Colonel Robert Gould Shaw was killed, along with 29 of his men in this battle, 24 later died of wounds; 15 were captured; 52 were missing in action and never accounted for, and 149 were wounded. The total regimental casualties of 272 would be the highest total for the 54th in a single engagement during the war. Although Union forces were not able to take and hold the fort, the 54th was widely acclaimed for its valor during the battle, and the event helped encourage the further enlistment and mobilization of African-American troops, a key development that President Lincoln once noted as helping to secure the final victory.
More recently, the story of the unit was depicted in the 1989 Academy Award winning film "Glory"
The white officers and colored troops killed during the assault on Ft. Wagner were buried together in a mass grave on Morris Island.
Morris Island is now less than 1,000 acres, uninhabited, and is subject to extensive erosion by storm and sea. Much of the previous site of Fort Wagner has been eroded away, including the place where the Union soldiers had been buried. It is believed that after the Civil War, the Army disinterred and reburied all the remains from the island at the Beaufort National Cemetery in Beaufort, South Carolina, where their gravestones marked as "unknown."
Battery Wagner Mass Union Grave (Defunct)
South Carolina, USA
Created by: Ron Goode
Record added: Jun 25, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 92561007
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