But for my country, at times, I almost despair.
How terrible this nightmare of a war, that never seems to advance or accomplish anything!
I sometimes feel that the day of grace has passed, that our repentance of our sin is too late, and that our nation is doomed.
This defeat of Burnside, and butchery of the boys, the sufferings of the unpaid soldiers, without tents, poor rations, a single blanket each, with no bed but the hard, damp ground,—--it is these things that kill me.
In February, 1863, he was detailed by Colonel Ross, his regimental commander, to report for duty to the Sanitary Commission at Washington.
He was to serve in the Special Relief Department, planned and directed by his old friend, Rev. Frederick N. Knapp, whose name should be forever remembered in history as one of the more than conquerors in that great work of peace.
This was a post entirely to his mind, and in this he labored until he died.
I have a great satisfaction, he says, in having a place of use
ong haunt my memory. . . . . I am well, though I have slept on the ground eight nights, my only covering a rubber blanket, in rain and wind and dew, and have lived a good part of the time on raw salt pork, hard bread, and tea. I am well, and strong, and in good spirits.
Afterwards, while the Army of the Potomac was at Falmouth, Ripley was called home on recruiting service for the Second Massachusetts Cavalry.
His intention of remaining with that regiment was not carried out, and in February, 1863, he returned to his regiment, which was then, or soon afterwards, placed in the Ninth Army Corps under General Burnside.
In March this corps went into Kentucky.
As they were moving westward, he wrote home a letter which was full of the pure inspirations that stirred him. He had been speaking of the beautiful mountain scenery along the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, which had filled him with enthusiasm, and then he added:—
I could not help thinking we had indeed a country worth figh
out, even after he had ceased to move a muscle, being still conscious, seemingly to the last breath.
He fully believed God would do rightly with him, and did not fear to trust him.
He died on the last day of January, 1864.
He had previously written as follows, from the camp near Brownsville, Arkansas, September 5, 1863, to Dr. F. H. Brown of Boston, who was then collecting information as to the Harvard military record:—
I enlisted as Hospital Steward in February, 1862, and in February, 1863, was promoted to Assistant Surgeon.
Being with the Army of the Tennessee all the time, I have had but little opportunity to learn what was going on at the East, and particularly in Cambridge.
I shall be glad to get any information with regard to my Alma Mater and the doings of her sons, especially in the war, and shall be happy to pay any sum which may be necessary for this purpose.
Before the letter could be answered, he himself had added, in his own modest and silent way, another
Great March wrote truly of Captain Grafton, He could not have found a nobler death, nor could we have lost a nobler soul.
Samuel Cushman Haven.
Second Lieutenant 162d New York Vols. (Infantry), September 20, 1862; first Lieutenant, February, 1863; died at Baton Rouge Hospital, La., June 23, 1863, of disease contracted in the service.
Samuel Cushman Haven was born at Nauvoo, Illinois, February 19, 1843.
His parents were James Henderson Haven and Elizabeth, daughter of the late Hon.sufficiently attested their belief in his truth.
They were afterwards heard to remark that the Major was the only man who could have cowed them.
In different detachments and under divers experiences, the regiment reached New Orleans about February, 1863, and was soon sent up to Baton Rouge, being assigned to General Dudley's brigade, Augur's division.
It accompanied General Banks in his first advance to Port Hudson, and after returning from this expedition remained at Baton Rouge until arra
source of great anxiety to his mind.
At this time the experiment of forming regiments of colored soldiers had been much talked of, and was under trial.
A few extracts from his letters at this time will best show the state of his feelings.
His friend Crane (afterwards his Captain in the service, and always his intimate friend) was then in the nine months service, having left College to enlist in the Forty-fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.
To him he wrote, under date of February, 1863, that he had no idea what he should do after Class-day; but under date of May 19th he said, after speaking of his devotion to rowing and gymnastics, with reference to his great purpose:—
My darling project of late has been to get a commission in a negro regiment.
I fear that will prove but a mere dream.
Commissions go by favor, or by that which makes the mare go; and, so far as I can learn, it will be of little, or no avail to apply to the Governor in my own name.
d by the fatigues and excitement of his army life.
James Neville hedges.
Volunteer A. D. C., staff of Colonel Cradlebaugh (114th Ohio Vols.), commanding brigade, 1862; died at Circleville, Ohio, of disease contracted in the service, February, 1863.
James Neville hedges was born at Circleville, Ohio, October 11, 1843, and was the son of Mr. H. N. Hedges of that town.
He entered Harvard College as a Freshman in 1860, and during the two years of his stay made himself exceedingly populn part in the battle of Arkansas Post, and in one other engagement, he was obliged by severe illness to go home and recruit.
After reaching Circleville, he seemed at first likely to regain his health, but soon suffered a relapse.
He died in February, 1863.
Corporal 44th Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September 20, 1862-June 18, 1863; first Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), September 22, 1864; killed at Averysborough (Black Creek), N. C., March 16, 1865.