The US Civil War Lewis Henry Douglass

‘Remember that if I fall that it is in the cause of humanity’
Lewis Henry Douglass

Lewis Henry Douglass (1840-1908) was the eldest son of Anna Murray Douglass (1813-1882) and Frederick Douglass. He served a distinguished military career as a Sergeant Major in the 54th Massachusetts Black combat regiment. In 1863 he was wounded in the Battle of Fort Wagner which took place in South Carolina. As a result of his bravery, Lewis Henry Douglass suffered a serious injury with the result that he was discharged from the army with a medical disability in 1864. He lived with the wounds from his war injury for the rest of his life. His letters from the frontlines survive and provide us with a powerful eye-witness account of Black military combat heroism and the tragedies and atrocities of warfare (see Lewis Henry’s 1863 letter in this section).