Last updated: January 8, 2023
The Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial commemorates one of the first Black fighting units to serve in the American Civil War. Through their bravery at Fort Wagner, the 54th helped erode northern public opposition to the use of Black soldiers and inspired the enlistment of nearly 200,000 African Americans during the war.
To honor the memory of the 54th, Bostonians commissioned Augustus Saint-Gaudens to create this stunning memorial, which is considered among the finest pieces of American art. Since its dedication in 1897, the monument has served as a powerful place for the military to honor its legacy as well as an inspiration and gathering space for artists and activists alike. National leaders such as Harriet Tubman and Colin Powell have participated at events here and the memorial continues to provoke and engage people from across the city, nation, and world.