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.
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.
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?
Got some letters here, personal things. Also, if I should fall, remember what you see here.
Let me tell you something, boy. You can march like the white man, you can talk like him. You can sing his songs, you can even wear his suits. But, you ain't NEVER gonna be nothing to him, than an ugly ass chimp... in a blue suit.
Nigger, is you an old man or is you an old woman? I forget.
Tear it up! Tear it up! TEAR IT UP!
I ain't much about no prayin', now. I ain't never had no family, and...killed off my mama. Well, I just... Y'all's the onliest family I got. I love the 54th. Ain't even much a matter what happens tomorrow, 'cause we men, ain't we? We men.
It's not true is it? I mean about not being allowed to fight. The men are living for that day. I know I am.
That's right, Hines. Ain't no dream. We runaway slaves but we come back fightin' men. Go tell your folks how kingdom come in the year of jubilee!
That wouldn't have been necessary if that secession woman hadn't started it. They never learn. You see secession has to be cleared away by the hand of God like the Jews of old. Now I will have to burn this town.
I can knock something down with this!
Tomorrow we goes into battle, so Lordy, let me fight with the rifle in one hand, and the Good Book in the other. So that if I may die at the muzzle of the rifle... die on water, or on land, I may know that you blessed Jesus almighty are with me... and I have no fear.