In Boston: Aid and Comfort for the Shaw

Frozen in bronze, the black infantrymen trudge forever forward, their rifles scraping the metaled sky. On horseback alongside them, stern, proud, aristocratic, rides their young colonel, Robert Gould Shaw. Here, just across from the gold-domed statehouse, Shaw led the North's first black regiment down Beacon Street and off to war. "The very flower of grace and chivalry," John Greenleaf Whittier wrote of Shaw's departure, "he seemed to me beautiful and awful, as an angel of God come down to lead the host of freedom to victory."

After nearly a century of New England wind and rain, the colonel's face is now as...

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