S.C. re-enactor to march in black unit at Obama inauguration

Every very summer, Joseph McGill dons the thick blue uniform of a Union soldier and re-enacts the historic Civil War battle at Morris Island, outside Charleston.

The battle ends the same way each time — the African-American troops of the famed 54th Massachusetts are decimated by Confederates — but the message of the re-enactment is the same, too: Those black men — who fought so hard for the right to fight for their country and their freedom — never will be forgotten.

Now, with the nation about to swear in its first black president, McGill, 47, a program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Charleston, has a chance to take his show on the road.

McGill has been asked to participate in an inaugural march with other 54th Massachusetts re-enactors who hail from that state.

So far, McGill is the lone South Carolinian who has been asked to participate, though he would like other re-enactors from this state to be included.“I’m the lucky one,” said McGill, who was asked Dec. 19 to participate in the march as part of the inauguration of Barack Obama.

McGill said he and other re-enactors have pressed members of Congress to have the inaugural parade committee expand the number of people who can participate.

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed,” McGill said.

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