Robert Gould Shaw, born October 1, 1837 to a prominent abolitionist family, was asked by the governor of Massachusetts to organize the first regiment of black troops in a Northern state. Shaw recruited free blacks from all over New England. On May 13, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Regiment was mustered into service in the Union Army with Shaw as its commanding officer. After leading the regiment in a handful of smaller actions, Shaw and the 54th joined two brigades of white troops in an assault on Confederates holding Battery Wagner on the South Carolina coast. Although the action was unsuccessful and Shaw himself died leading the charge, the courage of black troops under fire was proven beyond any doubt. This Kurz and Allison print honors Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts at Fort Wagner.