The Sacking of Darien by the 54th Massachusetts Black Infantry on June 11, 1863.


“Eight companies of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry (composed of Northern free blacks newly arrived from training in Massachusetts) and five companies of the Second South Carolina (composed of former slaves from South Carolina), along with a section of Rhode Island artillery — perhaps 800 men all together — had left their base at St. Simon’s Island the day before. As the transport ships proceeded upriver, the two gunboats acting as escorts occasionally lobbed shells into suspicious-looking farmhouses or wooded areas. They made slow going against the tricky current and it was nearly 3 p.m. before they finally approached Darien.”