Robert Gould Shaw

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Robert Gould Shaw (10 October 1837 – 18 July 1863), the son of wealthy Boston abolitionists, was 23 years old when he enlisted to fight in the American Civil War. He was later appointed the colonel in command of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry; the 1989 film, Glory, shows how Shaw trained and led the regiment.

Shaw was shot and killed during an attack on Fort Wagner, in Charleston, South Carolina. After the battle, he was buried in a mass grave with African-American troops he commanded. The Confederate troops intended this as an insult, but his father said afterwards that he would have been proud to be buried with his men.

His collected letters are in the Houghton Library at Harvard University.