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Lee Passarella

soldier, was born in New York City. The chief sources of information about his life and career are the official papers of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the regimental history, A Brave Black Regiment, written by Luis F. Emilio, a white officer of the regiment in which Vogelsang served from April 1863 until August 1865.

Among those helping with the recruitment effort was Frederick Douglass, whose two sons joined the ranks of the Fifty-fourth, and Francis G. Shaw, a prominent New England abolitionist and father of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, the regiment's white commanding officer. The elder Shaw recruited Vogelsang, a druggist and dry goods clerk in Brooklyn, who needed no special pleading to join up. A married man, Vogelsang was forty-seven years old, the oldest soldier in the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, when he was mustered into service on 17 April 1863 ...