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Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw
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Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  119 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
On the Boston Common stands one of the great Civil War memorials, a magnificent bronze sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. It depicts the black soldiers of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry marching alongside their young white commander, Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. When the philosopher William James dedicated the memorial in May 1897, he stirred the assembled crowd ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published November 18th 1999 by University of Georgia Press (first published September 30th 1992)
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Eric
Mar 23, 2013 Eric marked it as to-read
"Describing nightfall on the Antietam battlefield, he wrote, 'the crickets chirped, and the frogs croaked, just as if nothing unusual had happened all day long, and presently the stars came out bright, and we lay down among the dead, and slept soundly until daylight. There were twenty dead bodies within a rod of me.' "
Jax Willis
May 23, 2009 Jax Willis rated it it was amazing
What an amazingly well put together collection of the letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, who led the first black contingent of soldiers, the Mass 54th , during the Civil War. Excellent read.
Rebecca
Nov 22, 2016 Rebecca rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this book more than I did, especially as it is often the first recommended source for Col. Robert Gould Shaw and his brave black regiment. Naturally I was excited to get my hands on it. However when I did get it, there were some issues that I felt prevented me from fully enjoying it. Like many Civil War heroes such as Joshua Chamberlain, Grant, Lincoln and most notably Sherman, Shaw has fallen under much scrutiny by revisionist historians. I have no problem with this ...more
Antony Fitzpatrick
Sep 17, 2012 Antony Fitzpatrick rated it it was amazing
A throughly good read. I remember watching the film 'Glory' as a youngster which first got me interested in the story of Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th.

Having read this book I am astounded at just how significant the trial of the 54th, especially the fatal charge on Fort Wagner, would impact the future for all African-Americans. With the South wanting to put them all back into slavery and even some sections of Northern society doubting whether they could be considered equals, includi
...more
Aj
Sep 15, 2008 Aj rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand what the American Civil War was about, then this book gives you a very good insight. You discover that the gulf between abolitionists and supporters of slavery was not as great as you might imagine. What was remarkable about Shaw was how he grew as a person once in the company of his black soldiers.

Soldiers know each other as people and not as topics for polite conversation or intellectual debate. Shaw discovered something important about people and was willing to die f
...more
Dewayne Martin
I read this book years ago, but have always thought fondly of it. I first saw the movie Glory, and then saw this book and had to read it. It gave a deeper understanding to Shaw and what exactly he did…and it was fairly monumental. For anyone interested in the Civil War, I recommend this book without hesitation.
Raving Redcoat
A fascinating look at the letters of Robert Gould Shaw. This is particularly interesting as it spends more time during the almost two years Shaw spent with the 7th NY Militia and 2nd Mass Vol Inf, rather than the (admittedly more significant) six months he spent with the 54th Mass Vol Inf. A solid read for the American Civil War buff.
Angel
Feb 02, 2008 Angel rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
I read this mostly because I knew it was one of the sources for the film _Glory_. The colonel's letters were only so-so overall. However, Civil War enthusiasts may find the book more interesting than I did.
Theresa
Jun 26, 2011 Theresa rated it really liked it
The letters to his family and friends are very sweet. You really get into his thoughts about the boredom, confusion, and stress associated with his post. It's also rewarding to witness his growth as a human being through his letters.
Joshua Briggs
Mar 16, 2014 Joshua Briggs rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Glad to have found this title on Goodreads. All Americans should read this book about a Colonel who gave everything for freedom. Wish I could give it six stars.
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Roger Henley
Aug 26, 2011 Roger Henley rated it it was ok
It is is good book. This was the view from the inside events of a Civil War.
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