A letter from Shaw to his fiance:

March 14,1863

My Dear Annie,

Your yesterday’s letters reached me this morning, and gave me more pleasure than I can tell you.

I find that Mother is not coming to Boston in a fortnight; so please don’t change your mind, but come on the 21st. I will go up and meet you at Springfield. Aunt Mary wanted you to come here, even if Mother and Effie were here too. When the snow is gone, we can have some nice rides together. . . .

I went out to Readville yesterday morning, and have just come in. Everything out there is going on prosperously. The officers and men are very satisfactory. When Clem, comes, she mustn’t compare my men with French soldiers, but with American volunteers. From what I have seen of them, they will be more soldierly than the latter, because it is so easy to control and discipline them. The company from New Bedford are a very fine body of men, and out of forty, only two cannot read and write. Their barracks are in better order, and more cleanly, than the quarters of any volunteer regiment I have seen in this country. . . .

Excuse a short note, dear Annie, and, with love, believe me,

Always yours,


p.s.—… Last night I went to call on Lucy Codman. Do you know her? She is a cousin of ours, whom Mother had the care of for a good while, when Lucy was a little girl. She is a very lovely person, and we are all very much attached to her.