Years after the war was over, a rumor reached the North
that the embankment at Fort Wagner
had broken away, and that some of the bones buried there were falling through.
A connection of Colonel Shaw
's, who was going South for her health, resolved to ascertain whether this report were true.
Accordingly she procured a boat and was rowed to Fort Wagner
The embankment was not broken, and the place where Robert was “buried with his niggers” was one mass of white blossoms!
It had happened thus: Hay
had been carried from the North
for the horses of the United States troops, and with the hay was carried seed of the Northern
“whiteweed,” a large starry flower with a golden heart.
The weed had been unknown at the South
, and, handsome as it is, it will certainly prove no blessing there.
But was it not beautiful that the spot they strove to desecrate should be spontaneously, and, as it were, fondly beautified by Mother Nature with this profusion of white flowers from the North
, shining in the warm sunlight of the South
You and I have the same feelings about war. But when I looked at that sword, and the flag of the 54th, I thought of those brave colored men facing death in the cause of their oppressed brethren, and of their leader leaving behind him all the fascinations of love, luxury, and refinement, and laying down his life in the cause of the poor and the despised; and, with all my detestation of war, that sword did seem to me holy.
He was acting out his convictions of duty in a manner that seemed to him noble and right, and which was so in the opinion of an immense majority of Christendom.