Friday, June 15, 2012
At 10 a.m. the Regiment, with the exception of those already assigned to duty, gathered to hear the Episcopal service for the dead conducted by the Chaplain of the 25th New York. The spirits of Elbridge Shaw and George W. Bailey were commended to the Almighty, their bodies returned to the earth.
We are mortal, formed of the earth, and to earth shall we return. For so did you ordain when you created me, saying, You are dust, and to dust you shall return. All of us go down to the dust; yet even at the grave we make our song: Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Four hours later the freshly dug earth that covered Shaw and Bailey compacted into a slight concave bowl when a heavy three hour rain storm broke across the region.
The other sixteen who lay in the Regimental hospital with measles had seen Shaw's body removed from their midst. Some must have considered their own mortality and rued the potential consequences of a disease reserved mostly for children would lead to a similar pathetic and inglorious end to their lives. For those in Company I who were to stand guard duty over the next 21 hours and those engaged in the construction of roads in the outlying swamps there was appreciate personal thanks for being healthy enough to do so.