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[42]

Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff.

Captain 12th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), June 26, 1861; killed at Cedar Mountain, Va., August 9, 1862.


Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, Jr. was born in Boston, March 6, 1838. His father, Dr. Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, was the son of Dr. Benjamin Shurtleff, who for many years was an eminent physician of Boston, but originally from Plymouth County, where his ancestors, as well as those of his wife, Sally (Shaw) Shurtleff, had dwelt since the earliest days of the Colony, having crossed in the first Pilgrim vessels. His mother, Sarah Eliza (Smith) Shurtleff, was the daughter of Hiram Smith, Esq., of Boston.

At the age of not quite four and a half years, Nathaniel entered his first school, and in two years was admitted to one of the public grammar schools of the city. His early boyhood was that of a bright and happy child, roguish and playful, yet withal well behaved, intelligent in mind, and sunny in disposition. He was exceedingly fond of reading, even before he was seven years old, finding pleasure in very mature books, and undoubtedly laying the foundation for much of his unusual command of language in later life. He received at the Adams School a Franklin Medal in July, 1850, at the age of twelve years.

He entered the public Latin School in the following September. Nathaniel was marked among his classmates even from the start by the individuality of his character. He was most decided in all his prejudices and feelings, fluent of speech, combative in disposition, though more inclined to argument and the ready retort than to physical encounter; by no means lacking in courage, however, but relying more on his adroitness of speech, on his power of sarcasm, of ridicule, and of specious logic, than upon mere bodily strength. One of his schoolmates says that he once saw him struck a challenge-blow fair in

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