Equal pay or no pay at all

11/23/1863

In this letter, Col. E. N. Hallowell—who took command of the 54th Massachusetts after Col. Robert G. Shaw was killed—declined the state’s offer to make up the difference in Federal pay for white and black soldiers. This was in accordance with the wishes of his men, who refused to accept any pay until they received the proper amount from the Government. Hallowell’s gesture parallels a scene in movie Glory where Shaw tears up his pay stub, stating that no one in the regiment will be paid until everyone receives the full contractual amount.

National Archives, Records of the Adjutant General's Office


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