1863 March - May
Training began as soon as recruits began arriving and continued until the regiment sailed to its first post. On May 12, the 54th reached its full number of 1,000 soldiers. At Colonel Shaw's insistence his men were issued light blue infantry uniforms instead of the darker blue worn by blacks doing support labor for the army. On May 18, Shaw's regiment received a request from General David Hunter, commander of the Department of the South, for their regiment to proceed to Beaufort, South Carolina. On May 28 the regiment marched from Readville through Boston and down to the harbor. Their procession through Boston passed Shaw's family home and the Boston State House amid crowds lining the streets.