Glory in Bronze

This week's Sepia Saturday prompt shows a plaque depicting Louis Pasteur successfully treated a boy with rabies vaccine. The metal relief reminded me of the bronze high relief sculpture in Boston of Robert Gould Shaw leading the Massachusetts 54th Infantry Regiment. I have this antique postcard depicting the sculpture's dedication in 1897.

The 54th Regiment was the nation's first all African-American regiment in the Civil War and was deployed against the Southern Confederacy. They not only had to fight the enemy but had to fight prejudice from both the North and the South.

Colonel Robert Gould Shaw led his troops into battle at Fort Wagner, South Carolina and was shot down. His remains were buried with his comrades-in-arms at the battle site. Their fate was depicted in the 1989 movie, "Glory."

Augustus Saint-Gaudens took nearly fourteen years to complete this high-relief bronze monument, which celebrates the valor and sacrifices of the Massachusetts 54th. The memorial was given the place of honor across from the front doors of the Massachusetts State House.

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Comments

Unknown said…
Robert Gould Shaw and I share a name; we are distantly related...I've always admired him for his willingness to lead. How nice that you and I have found Boston monuments to post!
Kristin said…
Interesting post card. The monument/relief looks so large. I wonder why they didn't just do a statue.
Brett Payne said…
Yes, a very interesting card. The JV in a circle indicates that it's a James Valentine card, and comparing the number 212469 with those JV cards from Derbyshire suggests to me that it was published as late as 1927, perhaps on the thirtieth anniversary of the unveiling. However, the fashions of the clothing are definitely not from the 1920s, so perhaps I have interpreted the numbering incorrectly.
Kathy said…
One of the things that is interesting about the postcard is the face of one boy turned to face the photographer at the bottom of the picture. He draws you in to take a closer look.
Postcardy said…
That is an interesting card. It must have been published after 1897, but probably before 1915.
This is grand on several levels. Honoring a heroic group of men. And the fact that so many people showed up for the unveiling. Of course people used to also show up for hangings..., but these days it would most likely get little more than a yawn. When you think of how some monuments have fallen into ruin it's pretty sad.
I didn't know about this monument in Boston. Wish I could see it in person. But I did see the movie "Glory" which was great. A really interesting story in our history.

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