|Temporary posting of the transcription originally prepared for Tom Hayes' "Letters of the Civil War".|
Camp near Falmouth, VA
February 22d, 1863
Hon. D. Waldo Lincoln, Mayor of Worcester:
My Dear Sir I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your kind note of the 14th inst, informing me of the action of the city council, and hasten to reply.
"The old flag" "the stars and stripes" which were presented to the fifteenth regiment by the ladies of Worcester, and which have been through so many battles and never yet been disgraced, have been sent at the request of the state authorities to Boston, and in return we have received new ones. It would have been our choice to have returned the national flag to the fair hands that made it, and to the city whose generosity gave it, for we felt that they were preeminently entitled to it, and that there the torn and tattered emblem of our nationality would feel more at home, where it would receive the hearty congratulations of its nearest friends. They are a curiosity to behold; still one cannot look upon them without a feeling of pride mingled with sadness proud of the honorable position they have taken in every battle; sad to think of the many brave and noble dead that have fallen beneath them. The regiment was slow to part with them, but they had become so mutilated that they had not been unfurled for a long time, except in battle, and then only as a sign of defiance a challenge for supremacy to a treacherous and unscrupulous foe. Inasmuch as the flags are now in possession of the state, the regiment is not inclined to dictate as to their final disposal; but any arrangement the city government can make with the state authorities will be perfectly satisfactory to the regiment.
With many thanks for your kindness, I have the honor to remain,
Very truly yours, George H. Ward,
(Digital transcription by Susan L. Harnwell, webmaster, 15th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry)