Two letters from Shaw, to his brother-in-law George Curtis (married to Shaw’s sister Anna), and to his father:

Readville [BCF]
April 2/63

Dear George,

Your letter of the 31 March reached me yesterday. I have already seen Mr. Guerrier several times. I liked him very well, but didn’t think him one of the best on our list of applicants. Now, we are absolutely full, but I may have a 2d Lieut.’s vacancy, before we start. There are other men from my own regiment though, whom I want to take very much, and whom I am sure of, as regards qualifications.

I wish I could serve Mr. Ricketson, but see very little chance of it, now. I am sorry that your only recommendation should not have met with more success. I didn’t think Mr. Phillips particularly well qualified to give an opinion as to the merits of an officer.  A great many men have come with such recommendations & with papers from the Common Councilmen of their towns, but I never pay any attention to such, & call for recommendations from their superior officers, if they have been in service.

The other day I called on Mr. Josiah Quincy Seniorissimo, and had a very interesting visit. He told me to say to you, that he often heard of you in Boston, but hadn’t seen you lately and that if you didn’t go to see him the next time you came, he should drop you from his books. His memory is evidently failing him, and he talked principally of events which happened in the last century, which of course I was delighted to hear about. He had an engraving of Uncle Sam hanging at the head of his bed, and referred to him continually during my visit. He seemed to recollect him with a sort of veneration. He said “I shook hands with him last, on the wharf, when he sailed for China, in 17 hundred & something.” What a beautiful head & face Mr Quincy has! I sat & looked at him in perfect wonder, as I thought of the men he had known & the events he had an active part in.

They showed me some of the most interesting relics I ever saw. Some of Washington’s hair, letters, gloves & documents & letters from hosts of celebrated men & women. They have a metal plate like this [drawing included here] which Washington wore, with the arms of Virginia engraved on it & with the ribbon with which he hung it round his neck.

Give my best love to dear Anna. God bless you both, and may you get happily through this month.

I see Annie every evening almost, and feel more & more satisfied every day, as I learn to know her better. Effie & Charley are well & enjoying each other.

Goodbye dear George & believe me,

Always your loving brother

April 2 1863

Dear Father,

Jackson has been examined & passed by the Surgeon. Yours of 31st ulto. received. I hardly think that a man of 46 would pass. Still if he were perfectly sound in every other respect he might. In my opinion Dr. Stone is not too strict in his examinations. In fact I have continually urged him to be particular—and the committee here have complained of it very much, because the expense of sending men home is so great. The consequence is that we have an empty hospital, while that of the cavalry opposite, is full — though they have only 60 or 70 men in camp. To accept a man who is doubtful, is, in my opinion, cheating the Government, wronging the man, & harming the regiment. The standard of most surgeons is very low, because it has been so difficult lately to fill the town quotas — and in consequence our regiments dwindle away very fast, and the Govt hospitals are full of men who never did a day’s duty. In the 2d, I have seen several recruits die from mere fatigue & exposure. Stone has gone to Buffalo to examine a large squad, & set the Surgeon there on the right track. He will afterwards probably go to Philadelphia. We have another man who comes out from Boston every day.

Edward Hallowell will undoubtedly be major. The Govr promised me as much day before yesterday. I myself shall be mustered in a major this week in order to leave a vacancy in the 2d. My name ought to be Sam for a little while. The Governor has written to the Secretary of War, asking to have my regt sent to Newbern, to form the nucleus of a brigade — also recommending Barlow, very strongly, for the command. The latter wants it, and I have done all I could to get him for a commander. Charley Lowell too has been writing & talking to a great many people, for the same object. I think if the thing works we can do a good work in that way.

Give my love to Mother & Susie.
Your loving son
p.s. We have accepted men over age, but they were physically perfect. Col. Frank Lee says a brigade of coloured men could be easily raised in North Carolina. The country there is more easy to operate in, than South Carolina.