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[362] his father, whom, after all, I can scarcely call bereaved, invites me, after a brief space of respectful silence, to offer my humble word of friendship and consolation. An acquaintance of many years, less familiar perhaps than it had been useful to me had the opportunity existed, assures me that the resources of the mind of the man will do much to alleviate the grief and desolation which must depress the heart of the father. And, while I know that nothing I can suggest will not have been anticipated, I venture to hope, that a simple and earnest expression of natural and human sympathy will be received and valued, if only for the sake of the kindness with which it is meant. I have frequently been impressed, my dear sir, with the manly spirit with which you have repeatedly and freely offered your sons to your country; and now that, in the providence of God, one of them has been verily taken, I would that it were in my power, by a feather's weight even, to soften the blow. But I rejoice to bear my hearty testimony, which is all that I can do, to the constant, uniform, and conspicuous merit, as a soldier and a gentleman, of the son you have given. I think you will always have a right to remember, with the pride equalled only by parental love, that our inheritance in a Commonwealth is made richer and nobler by the memories of such dear and brave boys of Massachusetts, whose young lives, consecrated even to death, were beautiful testimonies of the preciousness of our birthright and the worth of liberty. I pray leave, my dear sir, to offer, through yourself, to your family my respectful sympathy and respect.

This beautiful and touching letter was written to Mr. Abbott on the death of his son, Edward G. Abbott, who was killed in action, Aug. 9, 1862. He was a captain in the Second Regiment Massachusetts Infantry. Mr. Abbott had two sons in the war,—one in the Second, and one in the Twentieth Regiment. His other son, Henry L. Abbott, went out a captain in the Twentieth Regiment, rose to the rank of major, and was killed in the Wilderness, May 6, 1864. They were young men of great promise, born and reared in the city of Lowell, graduates of Harvard College, and both now lie beneath a soldiers' monument in the cemetery of their native city. These were all the sons of the family.

On the twenty-third day of August, an executive order was issued, of which the following is a copy:—

In order to promote the recruitment of the Massachusetts quotas,


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