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The Burning of Darien

Union Col. Robert G. Shaw regretted the burning of Darien, which he later related in a letter home: “He (Montgomery) said to me, ‘I shall burn this town.’ He speaks always in a very low tone and has quite a sweet smile when addressing you. I told him, ‘I did not want the responsibility of it,’ and he was only too happy to take it all on his shoulders: so the pretty little place was burnt to the ground, and not a shed remains standing; Montgomery firing the last building with his own hand.” In 1870, Shaw’s mother sent $1,000 to the Darien Episcopal Church in the memory of her son, who died a month after the burning of Darien. She called the disaster an “unjustifiable and cruel deed.”

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