Later the Surgeon of the regiment writes:— when some distance on. When about one hundred yards from the fort, the Rebel musketry opened with such terrible effect, that, for an instant, the first battalion hesitated; but only for an instant, for Colonel Shaw, springing to the front, and waving his sword, shouted, “Forward, Fifty-fourth!” and with another cheer and a shout, they rushed through the ditch, and gained the parapet on the right. Colonel Shaw was one of the first to scale the walls. He stood erect to urge forward his men, and while shouting for them to press on, was shot dead and fell into the fort. I parted with Colonel Shaw as he rode forward to join his regiment. As he was leaving, he turned back and gave me his letters and other papers, telling me to keep them and forward them to his father if anything occurred.
Beaufort, S. C., August 1.Every day adds to the great loss we have had, and we miss the controlling and really leading person in the regiment, for he was indeed the head; brave, careful, just, conscientious, and thoughtful. He had won the respect and affection of his men, and they all had great pride in his gallantry. Many a poor fellow fell dead or mortally wounded in following him even into the very fort where he fell; glad thus to show their affection, or unwilling to seem backward or afraid to follow their dear, brave colonel, even to death. He has been, I think, quite happy since we have been out, and found much to enjoy in our life, particularly at St. Simon's. He had also great reason to be proud of his regiment, and their good conduct on James Island showed for the first time their quality as soldiers. They showed, he thought, in the most trying position, coolness and courage to a remarkable degree. The ten days preceding his death had been days of great discomfort, much anxiety, and part of the time considerable exposure and hardship, but he was always bright and cheerful; and the night before the fight, he stood all night on the wet beach, superintending the embarkation of the regiment, and at daylight I saw him steering with his own hand the last boat-load of men to the steamer. The last time I spoke with him was when we were moving to the front,—he rode by me again with General Strong. He spoke cheerfully, but of course there was a seriousness. All knew and felt the terrible danger that was before them. But bravely he led the men, and fell, as a brave and noble soldier should, in the very front, into the fort, and now sleeps there with the brave fellows who