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Elijah Shaw Transcript
Lawrence June 7 1864
My Dear Friends
A thousand thanks to you all for the volume I rec’d from you all. May you all live to send me a thousand such. Not that I wish you to be engaged for a thousand years to come in your present vocation for then you would receive your punishment in this world. But I base my wish wholly on philanthropic grounds. What better employment for our posterity can one be employed in than in putting in such tangible form the records of our brave Maine soldiers?
For that purpose I send herewith all of the original muster rolls of Company “H”, 10th Maine Vol. Infantry. A name I shall ever be proud of – They may be of some service in the future and that is what all patriots are now laboring for.
I have perused the volume sent with much pleasure and shall put it away among my treasures. I have a room in my house where I keep all my mementoes of the war. They are my household gods, as dear to me and as much valued as my wife and children. On the wall hangs my sword carried by me in the First Maine and 10th, and ready to be put on again any time in defense of my country. I have never been satisfied a moment since I left the service and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to receive another commission from you with the General & Governor Cony’s name attached.
How is the General? Is he busy as ever? Has he those quotas adjusted satisfactorily? I know he has not for he is finite and none such can satisfy all who come to Augusta on business. “When this cruel war is over” the General should have a pension and retire with honor. Tell him not to be discouraged for posterity will rise up and call him blessed. And will that not be recompense enough? To have the blessing of the widow and orphan is of more value than the selfish affairs of men.
How is Napoleon? Two years ago today he and I were in our little office in Martinsburg Va. Then the 10th had lost scarcely a man. How many since thus far fallen? All through the valley of the Shenandoah the bodies lie and on the bloody field of Antietam. Well let them lie. What more noble resting place for a soldier than on the spot where he gave his life for his country.
This is where I should choose to lie. The quiet of some country church yard has no charm for me like the glory of a resting place on the field of carnage, when our fall is such a noble place as this. The beautiful cemeteries scattered all through our land will pass from the recollection of men will pass from the recollection of men, but will the resting place of the heroes of Gettysburg ever be forgotten? Never while America lives will her sons forget that hallowed place.
Well, my dear friends, you may think I feel patriotic this morning. I do indeed. Tell the General I feel secure – calm as a summer evening. In the counsel of God the war will go on until He is satisfied. Then it will cease. Then what a future for our country! With the blighting curse of our country vanquished, what may we not expect for her future?
Tell the General I should be happy to receive a commission from his hands and will accept one anytime with pleasure. Will Col. Beal be promoted to General? Do you hear from the 29th officially?
Remember me kindly to all my friends in Augusta, to Major Gardiner, Capt. Bailey and others. I should be pleased to hear from you at any time and will answer with pleasure.
Hoping to hear from you soon
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