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I. First months

Theodore Lyman reached Boston early in June 1863, hoping to obtain a Staff appointment. His first weeks were spent in settling his little family in Brookline, adjusting his private affairs, and sorting the collections of his beloved Ophiurans that had accumulated during his absence in Louis Agassiz's newly built museum.

Many of Lyman's friends thought that his desire to join the army was quixotic and unnecessary. Meanwhile Lee's advanced guard had crossed the upper Potomac, and Hooker had moved on Centreville from Falmouth. “There will be stirring times ahead,” writes Lyman in his journal. “Every one takes the matter with great calmness; we are too dead!” Soon came Gettysburg; and shortly afterward Mrs. Lyman's cousin, Robert Shaw, fell at the head of his negro regiment in the assault of Fort Wagner. Again Lyman writes: “Bob was a shining example of great development of character under pressing circumstances. In peace times he would have lived and died a quiet, manly, happy-tempered fellow; but the peril forced his true spirit into action, and now his name stands as that of one who gave up a life spotless of low ambition, of cowardice, of immorality; a life torn from all that is attractive and agreeable and devoted to the cause of Eternal Right.”

An entry in his journal says of a shooting-trip of his on some old haunts among the marshes of Cape Cod: “As I walked about this beautiful old place, with the clear air ”

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