Robert Gould Shaw
Robert Gould Shaw was an American officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Born into a prominent Boston abolitionist family, he accepted command of the first all-black regiment in the Northeast. He converted to Catholicism during a trip to Rome, in which he befriended several members of the Oxford Movement.
About Robert Gould Shaw in brief
Robert Gould Shaw was an American officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Born into a prominent Boston abolitionist family, he accepted command of the first all-black regiment in the Northeast. He encouraged the men to refuse their pay until it was equal to that of white troops’ wage. He led his regiment at the Second Battle of Fort Wagner in July 1863. Shaw was shot but survived while leading his men to the parapet of the Confederate-held fort. His leadership and the regiment became legendary. They inspired hundreds of thousands more African Americans to enlist for the Union helping to turn the tide of the war to its ultimate victory. He converted to Catholicism during a trip to Rome, in which he befriended several members of the Oxford Movement, which had begun in the Anglican Church. He left St. John’s College in late 1851 before graduation, as the Shaw family departed for an extended tour of Europe. He found life at the company office as disagreeable as some of his experiences with his parents. He traveled south to the defense of Washington D.C. to make a 90-day commitment and join the 7th New York Militia. Following this, Shaw’s regiment was dissolved and he joined a newly formed regiment, the Sturgis and Purgis Company. He was a member of the Porcellian Club, and the Hasty Pudding Club, but he withdrew before graduating.
After leaving Harvard in 1860, Shaw returned to Staten Island to work with one of his uncles at the mercantile firm Henry P. Shaw. He died in New York City in 1883. He is survived by his wife, three daughters, and a son, Robert Gould Shaw, Jr., who served as a U.S. Senator from New York from 1875-1880 and served as the chairman of the New York State Board of Education from 1881-1883. Shaw is buried in Mount Sinai, New York, where he lived with his wife and three daughters. He also leaves behind a wife and four daughters, Anna, Josephine, Susanna, and Ellen, who he married in 1885. He had four sisters, Anna and Josephine who died in a car accident in 1887. Shaw had four children, all of whom survived the Civil War and died in infancy. He wrote a memoir of his life, “A Life in Black and White,” which is published by Simon & Schuster and is available in hardback and on Kindle for $35.99. For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255 or visit http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/. For support on suicide matters call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch or click here. For support in the UK, visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, or the Samaritans on their page on the Internet.