Wednesday, October 19, 2016

American Civil War Monuments: 
54th Massachusetts Monument
Boston Commons

Photo and text Ccourtesy of LCWRT Member Charles Moore Jr.

The Monument to the 54th Massachusetts Regiment was designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and was unveiled on Memorial Day 1897.  The monument  honors Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and members of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment who died in the assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, July 18th, 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 at Fort Wagner.  The 54th suffered 45% casualties in the assault of which 54 were killed, 179 wounded and 48 unaccounted for. The 54th has been immortalized in the 1989 movie “Glory” for which Denzel Washington won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.

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