Who was this person that has this prominent spot. Maybe he was a community leader or a parish priest. Maybe he was a quiet and simple person. Whoever he was he has a beautiful monument that keeps me wondering.
The 54th Massachusetts Infantry was a volunteer group of African Americans who fought during the Civil War. The unit was made up of former slaves from throughout the North. The regiment was one of the first African Americans units organized in the northern states, and so it was considered an important indication of the possibilities surrounding the use of African Americans in combat.
The regiment was disbanded after the Civil War, but retains a strong legacy. A monument, constructed 1884–1897 by Augustus Saint-Gaudens on the Boston Common, is part of the Boston Black Heritage Trail. A famous composition by Charles Ives, "Col. Shaw and his Colored Regiment," the opening movement of Three Places in New England, is based both on the monument and the regiment.