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[189] although one was already in service in South Carolina and another in Kansas.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Executive Department, Boston, January 30, 1863.
Captain Robert G. Shaw, Second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.

Captain,—I am about to organize in Massachusetts a colored regiment as part of the volunteer quota of this State,—the commissioned officers to be white men. I have to-day written to your father, expressing to him my sense of the importance of this undertaking, and requesting him to forward to you this letter, in which I offer to you the commission of Colonel over it. The lieutenant-colonelcy I have offered to Captain Hallowell of the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment. It is important to the organization of this regiment that I should receive your reply to this offer at the earliest day consistent with your ability to arrive at a deliberate conclusion on the subject.

Respectfully and very truly yours,

This letter was enclosed to his father, who carried it himself to Stafford Court-House, where the Second Massachusetts was at that time encamped in winter quarters. His son was now Captain; and he had also during this winter added to his happiness by his engagement to one who was in every way calculated to increase it. He read the letter, and after a short pause he said, ‘I would take it, if I thought myself equal to the responsibility of such a position.’

After some consultation with his superior officers, he felt encouraged to accept, and retired to his tent for the night with that determination. In the morning, as soon as he met his father, he told him he had changed his mind, and did not feel the self-confidence to undertake so important a post. His father, unwilling to use any influence at so serious a moment of his son's life, left camp soon after, bringing with him a letter to Governor Andrew from his son, thanking the Governor earnestly for the great honor done him by his offer, and stating frankly that he did not feel that he had

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John A. Andrew (2)
Robert Gould Shaw (1)
Norwood Hallowell (1)
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January 30th, 1863 AD (1)
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