Robert Gould Shaw commanded the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, an African American regiment. Shaw had already fought in the battles of Cedar Mountain and Antietam with the 2nd MA Inf. when he took command of the 54th at the age of 25. Shaw was hesitant to leave his comrades for service in a regiment that he doubted would ever see action. Never the less, he would die leading them during their assault on Battery Wagner outside of Chalreston, SC.
Robert Gould Shaw (October 10, 1837 – July 18, 1863) As Colonel, he commanded the all-black 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, which entered the war in 1863. He was killed in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.He is the principal subject of the 1989 film Glory, where he is portrayed by Matthew Broderick.
"Edmonia Lewis was the first African American artist to earn international fame for her artwork. She earned a living as a sculptor and portraitist and was famous for several of her works, including a bust of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw of which she sold over 100 plaster copies."
Memorial of Robert Gould Shaw, Union Army Colonel, 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Col. Shaw was killed during the attack on Ft. Wagner in South Carolina. He is buried with his men in South Carolina. (October 10, 1837 - July 18, 1863).
On Boston Common, at the corner of Beacon and Park streets, stands what many consider to be the greatest public sculpture in the United States. The high-relief bronze memorial (detail shown) created by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens honors Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the African American soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. It took Saint-Gaudens almost 14 years to complete his tribute.