The mortality and casualty lists evidence the sacrifices made by the Fifty-fourth in the line of duty.
With an aggregate enrolment of 1,354 officers and men, the regiment suffered a loss of 5 officers and 95 men known to have been killed or who died of their wounds.
There were 106 men reported missing, 19 of whom are known to have died in prison, and 30 who lived to be released, leaving 57 missing in action.
The casualty list is completed by the further loss of 20 officers and 274 men wounded, making a total loss of 500, which is 36.9 per cent of the enrolment.
The death of 93 men out of an enrolment of 1,286, from disease and accident alone, gives a percentage of 7.2 against 15.9, which is said to be the rate for the total of colored troops enrolled.
This evidences superior material or care on the part of the Fifty-fourth.
It has been shown how the regiment by its steadfast resolve, with the assistance of its friends, wrung justice and equal rights with white soldiers from the Government
in the matter of pay and the muster of colored officers.
In connection with other colored organizations, the Fifty-fourth contributed to the establishment of a fact bearing strongly upon the military resources of our country then and now. We have read in the opening chapter that the United States
only called the blacks to bear arms when disaster covered the land with discouragement and volunteering had ceased.
It is also to be remembered that our enemy, having from the incipiency of the Rebellion
employed this class as laborers for warlike purposes, at the last resolved upon enrolling them in their armies.
This plan, however, was still-born, and was the final and wildest dream of Davis
, and the crumbling Confederacy.