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Joseph E. Shaw Collection
38th New York Volunteer Infantry
joseph Shaw Letter 6
Donated by Robert Gritman


Camp Scott Nov. 13, 1861

Dear Ed.

            I received your very welcome letter last night and as it is raining and I can not go out, I thought I would answer it tonight.  I am very glad that you wrote what you did in reference to Gus for I was afraid that he did not give me a true account of his health.  I am sorry that he is so sick but I think if he takes care of himself while he is down to Russell’s, he will get better.  I would like to have you tell me how he is and whether there is any change for the better in his health.  I am glad to hear you had so good a time at Regimental Parade, but it was not your place to stand on post but as long as you enjoyed it it is all well enough.  If you ever have the opportunity to perform regular guard duty you will find it not quite so pleasing and amusing a duty as you had to do while on your parade.  I suppose your Regiment will not be was not ordered out on account of not being full, for I suppose if it had had its full number it would have been here long ago.  I have not seen Griffin yet as very few persons are allowed to cross the Potomac, but I suppose he will be ordered over here pretty soon.  I am sorry to hear Mattice has been fooling his men so for I expected to hear some “big things” from them when they got out here on the “Sacred soil of Virginia” 

            With regard to the promotion of McClellan of course I can not say much about either him or Wool.  I have very often seen McClellan and our whole Regiment speaks well of him and think a great deal of him.  After the Battle at Bull Run he took command of the Army and ever since then things have to be done “right up to the handle”.  Before the battle, guard duty was a regular farce and everything was done in a sort of half-way style since then (according to the book of Proverbs) “there is a time and place for everything”.  McClellan ( as I suppose you know)served in the Mexican war and although he may not have had as much experience as some yet I do not think he will be found deficient in any quality that is necessary for a soldier, but his here afar acts will show what kind of a man he is.  Sunday night we were all marched up to the Adjutants Office and he came out and told us  about the success of the fleet in affecting a landing in South Carolina and made quite a speech to us.  You should have been here then to have heard the cheering.  We gave him not only “3 times 3” but 3 times that.  In fact it was a continual hurrah.  I suppose you have heard all about the fleet by this time so I will not bother you with repeating what he said.  I was up to Fort Lyon the other day and I can tell you it is a Fort well worth seeing.  It covers 9 acres of ground and mounts 100 guns.  There is no news of much account at present.  We are all well & getting along first rate.  Give my love to Julia and all the folks and answer as soon as convenient,  I have not received the last “Press” you sent me but I will get it soon as I have received all the others you sent me.

           Enclosed you will find some pictures for the boy which may serve as a sort of plaster for his sore arm.  You will also find a small piece of the tree that grows over the grave of Washington at Mount Vernon.  Tell Mother I am well and getting along first rate.  I will write again soon when I may have more news to tell you.  Until then good bye.

                                                With love to all
                                                I remain your
                                                Affectionate Brother
                                                J. E. Shaw Esq.


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

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