April 3, 1863: Letter About Annie


Part of the infinite tragedy of the Civil War was the hundreds of thousands of widows it created.  One of these was Annie Hagerty Shaw.  Born in 1835 she was the daughter of a rich New York auctioneer.  She and Robert Shaw met in 1861 and carried on a steady correspondence while he served with the Army of the Potomac.  Having narrowly missed death at Antietam in 1863, both Shaw and Annie realized that there was a very good chance that he could be killed in the War.  While he was training the 54th Massachusetts, he and Annie decided to be married.  His mother opposed the marriage as did her parents, all fearing that Annie risked being left a very young widow.  However both Annie and Robert were determined to be wed, as Shaw made clear in a letter to his father:

April 3,1863

Dear Father,

I received yours of 1st to-day. As regards our being married, Mr. and Mrs. Haggerty seem as much opposed to it as Mother. The reason I should like to have it, is the very one that Mother gives for opposing it; namely, that I am going away. I can’t help feeling that, if we are not married before I go, I shall feel very much dissatisfied and discontented. For the sake of Annie’s and my own peace of mind, I want it.

Your loving son,

Robert G. Shaw (more…)

Published in: on April 3, 2019 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on April 3, 1863: Letter About Annie  
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