SAT Subject US History Practice Question 175: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 175

66. What is the significance of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry regiment of the Union Army?

A. It began the Civil War by firing on Fort Sumter.
B. It was composed entirely of African-American soldiers and officers.
C. It was the first African-American regiment to play a major role in a military campaign.
D. It was an aristocratic regiment whose officers refused any pay.
E. It included a number of women who disguised themselves as men in order to take part in combat.

Correct Answer: C


The 54th Massachusetts was not all-black; the officers of the regiment were white. This regiment did not fire on Fort Sumter, and the officers did not volunteer to fight without pay. The attack on Fort Wagner was the first time a black regiment had been given an important role to play in U.S. military history.

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