Aug 12


Designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the bronze “Shaw Memorial” to Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was unveiled on Memorial Day, 1897. This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.

The monument to the 54th Massachusetts was sculpted by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It is located at the northernmost end of Boston Common at the intersection of Beacon and Park St. When the monument was dedicated, philosopher and psychologist William James said the following to the crowd: “Look at the monument and read the story; – see the mingling of elements which the sculptor’s genius has brought so vividly be-fore the eye. There on foot go the dark out-casts, so true to nature that one can almost hear them breathing as they march.”



The bronze sculpture created by Saint-Gaudens is set into a stone monument, designed by architect Charles Follen McKim. ┬áIt is located across from … This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



… the Massachusetts State House. Construction on the State House began in 1795 and was completed on January 11, 1798. The statue in the left portion of the shot is to educator Horace Mann, and the statue to the right portion of the shot is to orator Daniel Webster. Just out of this view, to the right of the building … This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



… is the equestrian statue to Joseph Hooker, shown here in this 1895 photo of the State House, two years before the memorial to the 54th Mass. was dedicated. This view was taken facing northwest circa 1895.



This plaque sits on the street and reads: THE MONUMENT “The Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial honors Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and members of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment who died in the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, July 18, 1863. The 54th was the first regiment of Black volunteers from the North to fight in the Civil War. On the back of the monument are inscribed the names of the members of the 54th who died with Colonel Shaw in the cause of freedom and union. The monument was erected through private donations and given to the City of Boston in 1897. It became part of Boston African-American National Historic Site in 1980. Funds contributed from across the United States made possible its restoration in 1982-84.” This restoration was This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



This marker also sits nearby. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



Saint-Gaudens began construction on the monument in 1884 (the year the Boston Cyclorama Building was opened) and did not finish until 1897. This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



Originally, the work was supposed to take Saint-Gaudens two years to complete. Saint-Gaudens was known for his thoroughness, which you can read more about here. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



The inscription reads: “ROBERT GOULD SHAW / COLONEL OF THE FIFTY FOURTH REGIMENT OF MASSA- / CHUSETTS INFANTRY BORN IN BOSTON 10 OCTOBER / MDCCCXXXVII KILLED WHILE LEADING THE ASSAULT / ON FORT WAGNER / SOUTH CAROLINA 18 JULY MDCCCLXIII” — and the smaller inscription under it is a verse by James Russel Lowell: “RIGHT IN THE VAN ON THE RED RAMPART’S SLIPPERY / SWELL WITH HEART THAT BEAT A CHARGE HE FELL / FOEWARD AS FITS A MAN: BUT THE HIGH SOUL BURNS / ON TO LIGHT MEN’S FEET WHERE DEATH FOR NOBLE / ENDS MAKES DYING SWEET.” This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.


These names of the black soldiers killed in action were not added until the 1981 restoration of the monument. Originally it was only the five white officers killed who were listed … This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



… Which are partially visible here in the bottom portion of this shot (with wreaths). If you would like to read the rest of the back portion of the monument, you can click on this image to enlarge it. This view was taken facing north at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



The text OMNIA RELINQUIT / SERVARE REMPUBLICAM means “He gives up everything to serve the republic,” but has also been translated as “They leave everything behind to serve the republic.” This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:50 AM on Wednesday, August 4, 2010.



August Saint-Gaudens also sculpted this famous bust of Abraham Lincoln (used in Saint-Gaudens “Standing Lincoln” statue in Chicago). A bronze replica of the bust is awarded each year to the winner of Gettysburg College’s The Lincoln Prize, awarded for “the finest scholarly work on the Civil War era.”


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