Shaw Biography
 

During nearly two years of service in the Second, in which he rose to the rank of captain, Shaw was wounded at Antietam and saw some of his closest comrades fall in battle. But his resolve grew only firmer with each fight. In February 1863, Francis Shaw personally delivered Governor John Andrew's offer of command of the new Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment to his son Robert, then at Stafford Court House, Virginia. Not certain he was "equal to the responsibility of such a position," and no doubt reluctant to leave the regiment to which he was devoted, the younger Shaw at first declined the offer. But his strong sense of duty prevailed. "Now," his mother wrote after he had accepted the colonelcy, "I feel ready to die, for I see you willing to give y[ou]r support to the cause of truth that is lying crushed and bleeding."
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Massachusetts Fifty-fourthShaw Biography
IntroductionThe ArtistHistorical BackgroundThe Memorial and Its ConservationThe ExhibitionTeaching Resources

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