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Joseph E. Shaw Collection
38th New York Volunteer Infantry
joseph Shaw Letter 8
Donated by Robert Gritman


Head Quarters
Sedgwick’s Brigade
Dec. 19th, 1861

Dear Ed.

            I received those two papers you sent me the other night and on reading that little message it occurred to me that I had promised to write to you so today not having much of anything to do I thought I would fulfill my promise and write.

            The General and his Staff have all gone to a review which is taking place today.  The whole division of Gen. Heintzelman is being reviewed by him and as my Regiment belongs to his Division they have gone away too.  As I am at present on what is called Detached Service I do not have to turn out with my Regiment, so of course I got rid of all these Reviews, Parades, drill, etc. etc. etc. etc.  We have had very pleasant weather down here so far and have only had one snow squall which did not amount to anything.  I am getting along first rate and am just as comfortable in my calico house as I would be in a house with all the modern fixtures.  There is a scouting party of Cavalry sent out from here every day toward Accotink Creek and for the last two days they had some skirmishing with the enemy’s pickets.  Day before yesterday the Captain of our Cavalry got 4 balls put into him and a private that was with him had his horse shot from under him.  The Secesh robbed  the Captain of his sword, watch, epaulets and everything of any value and left his body laying there the private escaped and ran back to where the reserve were stationed and reported to them what had happened and they came up and brought the Captain back with them.  The Captain was not killed but was wounded pretty badly.  The other night there was an alarm and it was reported that the enemy were advancing on us in force – Cavalry, Infantry & Artillery so Gen. Sedgwick sent out 2 Regiments of Infantry, a company of Cavalry & a battery of Artillery but it proved to be a false alarm. – There is no sign of any move yet and think it very likely we will quarter here all winter.  There is not much news of any account except that Col. Ward and his officers are erecting a Theater on our Camp Ground which is to be used for the purpose of lectures, “Christy Ministers” Preaching, Theatrical performances, Masonic Lodge & etc.- .  It is to be built by subscriptions from the different Regiments – Give my love to all the folks, excuse the scratching as I am in a hurry (as usual) & believe me as

Ever Your Affectionate Brother
       J. E. Shaw


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

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