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[197] were with him in his life, anxious to shield him, to rescue, to avenge.

One of the young lady teachers at St. Helena Island, describing the celebration of the 4th of July by the freed people, writes of him after hearing of his death:—

Among the visitors present was the noble young Colonel Shaw, whose regiment was then stationed on the island. We had met him a few nights before, when he came to our house to witness one of the people's “shouts.” We looked upon him with the deepest interest. There was something in his face finer, more exquisite, than one often sees in a man's face, yet it was full of courage and decision. The rare and singular charm of his manner drew all hearts to him. A few days after, we saw his regiment on dress parade, and admired its remarkably fine and manly appearance. After taking supper with the Colonel, we sat outside his tent. Every moment we became more and more charmed with him. How full of life, hope, and lofty aspirations he was that night! How eagerly he expressed his wish that they might soon be ordered to Charleston. “I do hope they will give us a chance,” he said. It was the desire of his soul that his men should do themselves honor, that they should prove themselves to an unbelieving world as brave soldiers as though their skins were white. And for himself, he was, like the chevalier of old, “without reproach or feat.” After we had mounted our horses, and as we rode away, we seemed still to feel the kind clasp of his hand, to hear the pleasant, genial tones of his voice, as he bade us good by, and hoped that we might meet again. We never saw him afterwards. In two short weeks came the terrible massacre at Fort Wagner, and the beautiful head of the young hero was laid low in the dust. Never shall we forget the heart-sickness with which we heard of his death,— we who had seen him so lately in all the strength and glory of his manhood. We knew that he died gloriously, but still it seemed very hard.

He was buried within the fort; and as there have been contradictory accounts as to the manner of his burial, we close this memoir with a letter from one who had the enviable privilege of looking upon the beautiful dead face, of which a Southern soldier has since said, ‘It looked as calm, and fresh, and natural as if he were sleeping.’ The author of the

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Robert G. Shaw (1)
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