Shaw, Robert Gould was born on October 10, 1837 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Son of Francis George and Sarah Blake (Sturgis) Shaw.
Student Harvard, 1856-1859.
Entered accounting room, New York City, intending to become merchant. Enlisted in 7th Regiment, April 1861, promoted First lieutenant 2d Massachusetts Regiment, July 1861, captain, August 1862. Appointed colonel 5th Massachusetts Regiment (1st Negro unit from free states), February 1863.
Killed and buried with many of his men in assault on Fort Wagner, Charleston, South Carolina. Sculpture memorial to him by Saint-Gaudens, on Boston Commons. His story was basis for William Vaughan Moody’s An Ode in Time of Hesitation.