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1st Maine Cavalry, 1864

Pvt. John Sheahan advice to not enlist, Virginia, 1864

Pvt. John Sheahan advice to not enlist, Virginia, 1864

Item 97594 info
Maine Historical Society

Writing to his father in Dennysville in February 1864, Pvt. John Sheahan of Co. K of the 1st Maine Cavalry, urged him to give up ideas of enlisting and to not let Sheahan's younger brothers, Ned and Henry, enlist.

Sheahan's older brother, William, a sergeant in the 6th Maine, had been killed in November at Rappahannock Station. Their father, also named John, had gone to Washington and Virginia to retrieve his son's body.

Pvt. Sheahan wrote, "Have you not been out here and seen how soldiers live, we were taking comfort when you saw us, and have you not done enough already?" He told his father he would be unable to protect the younger sons.

He concluded, "It may seem fun to be a soldier but on the battle field where men fall like grass it is a sad reality."

The end of the letter appears to be missing.


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