MHS gets Robert Gould Shaw’s sword

The Massachusetts Historical Society has acquired a pretty special Civil War object: the sword that Col. Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts, was carrying when he fell at Ft. Wagner.  Descendants of Shaw’s sister found it while cleaning an attic, and it’s going on exhibit this month.

The Globe reports that the sword was “stolen from Shaw’s body shortly after he was killed,” but doesn’t say how it made its way back to his family.  The MHS, however, has traced its provenance all the way back to its manufacture, so it’s the real deal.

Quite an acquisition!  I’d almost be willing to drive to Boston just to see it.

 

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One response to “MHS gets Robert Gould Shaw’s sword

  1. Such a great find — however the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was not the first Black regiment in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The 1st Louisiana Native Guard (later became the 73rd Regiment Infantry U.S. Colored Troops) was the first all-black regiment to fight in the Union Army during the American Civil War. It was based in New Orleans, Louisiana, and played a prominent role in the Siege of Port Hudson. Formed in 1862, they fought under Colonel Nelson at the Siege of Port Hudson in the summer of 1863 prior to the Fall of Vicksburg and months before the Battle of Ft. Warren in Charleston Harbor. Douglas Westfall, National Historian http://www.specialbooks.com/porthudson.htm

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