Captain Shaw’s father traveled by steamboat to Aquia Landing. From there he went by train to Brooke Station. Once he found his son he presented him with Massachusetts’ Governor John Andrew’s offered command of the first black regiment of Massachusetts. Shaw thought about it and even wrote to his parents and fiance. He finally accepted the governor’s offer.
Shortly later Shaw became a colonel. Shaw built the 54th into a first-class fighting regiment at Camp Reed, Massachusetts.