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CHARLES RUSSELL LOWEll

CAPTAIN SIXTH UNITED STATES CAVALRY
COLONEL SECOND MASSACHUSETTS CAVALRY
BRIGADIER-GENERAL UNITED STATES VOLUNTEERS

OF

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BOSTON AND NEW YORK

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY

The Riverside Press, Cambridge

1907

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PREFACE

JOSE

OSEPHINE SHAW LOWELL ended her noble life here not two years ago. It was her wish that I should print this sketch, written many years since, of her husband, General Charles Russell Lowell. She allowed me and other friends to overrule her opinion that his letters would not be of interest to the present generation, and gave me leave to publish the extracts from them here given. This is done in the firm belief that in them shine out the qualities that will always move men and women, whether young or old. Charles Lowell, as son, friend, husband, patriot, showed in his letters the double life of action and thought higher and fairer background at times appears.

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The gifts and powers which made him a brilliantly effective soldier would never have been turned into war's negative and destructive channels, had not the life and ideals of his Country been in peril. He fought because the war was of a character which left no choice to a man of his condition. The readers of these let

ters will see how far removed from the spirit of mere adventure or glory-seeking of aggressive and political wars was that of the young men. who sought to save the Republic, and the free institutions it stood for, from wreck. The elder Lowell thus told of the call as it came in those days to the best young men in the North:

"Some day the soft Ideal that we wooed
Confronts us fiercely, foe-beset, pursued,

And cries reproachful, Was it then my praise
And not myself was loved? Prove now thy truth,
I claim of thee the promise of thy youth;
Give me thy life, or cower in empty phrase;
The victim of thy genius, not its mate.'"'

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From the camp and the battlefield Charles Lowell was looking into the quiet beyond the smoke, where he hoped, as a citizen, to work at the harder tasks of helping to solve the problems that we face to-day. His especial wish was to raise the standard of life and thought of the workingmen of America.

His personal friend, Major Henry Lee Higginson, seldom speaks to Harvard students without trying to pass on to them something of the inspiration Lowell was to him. Approving the publication of these letters, of which many were written to him, he says,—

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