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Frank Preston Stearns, Cambridge Sketches, The colored regiments. (search)
were ordered to make a feint attack on the enemy, so as to withdraw attention from the flanking movement of his veterans on the left; but when the charge had once begun their officers were unable to keep them in check — the feint was changed into a real attack and contributed largely to the most decisive victory of the whole war. In his last annual Message President Lincoln congratulated Congress on the success of the Government's policy in raising negro regiments, and on the efficiency of the troops organized in this way. It seems very doubtful if the war could have been brought to a successful termination without them. In 1898 the Legislature of Massachusetts, at the instance of the veterans of the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth regiments, voted to have a memorial tablet for the public services of George Luther Stearns set up in the Doric Hall of Boston State House, and the act was approved by Governor Walcott, who sent the quill with which he signed it to Major Stearns's widow