New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center - Unit History Project
     Unit History Project  
  About the Museum
  Contact Us
  Armories & Arsenals
  Unit History Project
   - Revolution
   - Civil
   - Spanish American
   - Mex. Border, 1916
   - WWI
   - WWII
   - Korean
  Veteran's Oral History
  DMNA Homepage
  NY Naval Militia

Joseph E. Shaw Collection
38th New York Volunteer Infantry
joseph Shaw Letter 4
Donated by Robert Gritman

August 13 & 15, 1861
Virginia near Alexandria

Dear Ed

            I received your letter Sunday night (Aug. 11) and was very happy to hear from you.  I am glad to see that you have conscience enough left to reprove you for not writing sooner, but as the old saying is “Better late, than never”.  Peter heard the Doctor tell me to go back to the Hospital and as the Regiment marched that afternoon he did not know but what I went back.  You will see by Gus’ letter that I was not so sick as you imagined, it was nothing only a sick feeling at my stomach occasioned I suppose by eating too many berries.  I see by your letter that you have an idea that our Regiment is enlisted for 3 years, but I am happy to inform you that you are mistaken as we are only enlisted for 2 years and there is some pretty strong talk among the members of the Regiment that they will not serve more than 3 months as they say the law can not hold 2 year men longer than that.  If it is true, our term will be up on the 3rd of next month.  The men say they will stack their arms and leave.  There are three or four more Regiments that intend to do the same when their 3 months are up.  The Zouaves are almost as good as disbanded as their arms have been taken away from them and they are expecting to go home every day.  They refused to do guard duty and carried on so that their arms were taken from them.  There is a great deal of praise given to the Zouaves, but everyone of our men say that they were the first to run.  Your advice is well received as well as those “Hints to Volunteer” and I shall try and profit by them.  With regards to Benedict being a Secesh I have noticed two or three articles in his paper which appeared to side very strongly with the Southern cause – and I wondered that the people did not notice it and when I heard that his office had been threatened I supposed that something of that sort was the matter.  Carmel seems to be an unlucky place if I may judge form the many accidents and fights that are occurring there so often.  If I get any more Secesh trophies I will send you the next.  Enclosed you will find a piece of wood cut from the stairs of the Marshall House where Ellsworth was shot, and also a piece of the tree that Key fell against when he was shot by Sickles.  The reason Norris has not written is because he is so busy but he is well and so are all the rest of the Carmel boys except Jerry Hazen who has been quite sick but he is better now.  With regard to writing something for the paper I will try in my next what I can do – Until then goodbye.  Give my love to George & Philly and Mother Mr. Russell Julia Lucinda Gus and the two young men James Henry Alice Pikkens Heatty etc  Excuse mistakes etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

                                                                        I remain Your Aff Brother
                                                                        J. E. Shaw

P.S. The rough piece of wood is piece of the tree and the other was where Ellsworth was shot.



New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs: Military History
Last modified: October 17, 2011

Valid HTML 4.01!

Home | Contact Us | Language Access