Robert Gould Shaw was busy at 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiment's camp at Readville, Massachusetts outside of Boston. Shaw's men are learning the routine of army life while Shaw was busy collecting the supplies the commander of a regiment needs, like shirts and a fine horse.
March 25 1863
I have received two notes from you, one about our course of conduct at Aunt Mary’s, and the other about shirts. I agree with you entirely about what you said in the first, and shall do as you suggest. I burned the note, as you requested, and will not say anything to Aunt Mary about it. I have bought the shirts but will pay the bill myself, as I shall be happy to make Howard a present of the others.
If the success of the 54 Mass. gives you so much pleasure, I shall have no difficulty in giving you good news of it, whenever I write. Everything goes on prosperously. The intelligence of the men is a great surprise, to me. They learn all the details of guard duty and Camp service, infinitely more readily than the Irish I have had under my command. There is not the least doubt, that we shall leave the state, with as good a regiment, as any that has marched. One trouble, which I anticipated, has begun-viz: complaints from outsiders of undue severity. But I shall continue to do, what I know is right in that particular, and you may be perfectly certain, that any reports of cruelty, are entirely untrue. I have treated them much more mildly, than we did the men of the 2d.
Tell Father I received his note, and would like very much to have him send me the horse he speaks of, if he is satisfied with him. I want as handsome a horse as I can get & need it as soon as possible.
I am going up to Lenox tonight, to come down with Annie tomorrow. I found I should have to be away just as long, if I only went to Springfield.
Love George, Anna & Susie.
Your loving son