Colonel Robert Gould Shaw quotes

Good morning gentlemen, I am Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. I am your commanding officer. It is a great pleasure to see you all here today. It is my hope that the same courage, spirit, and honor, which has brought us together, will one day restore this Union. May God bless us all.

[in a letter] Dear Mother, They learn, learn quickly, faster than white troops it seems to me. They are almost grave and sedate under instruction and they restrain themselves. But the moment they are dismissed from drill every tongue is relaxed and every ivory tooth is visible and you would not know from the sound of it that this is an army camp. They must have learned this from long hours of meaningless, inhuman work to set them free so quickly. It gives them great energy. And there is no doubt we will leave this state as fine a regiment as any that as marched. As ever, your son, Robert.

[Writing a letter to his mother] We are fighting for a people whose poetry has not yet been written.

If you men will take no pay, then none of us will.

There's more to fighting than rest, sir. There's character. There's strength of heart. You should have seen us in action two days ago. We were a sight to see! We'll be ready, sir. When do you want us?

[Handing a journalist his letters home] Got some letters here, personal things. Also, if I should fall, remember what you see here.

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