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So well did he improve it, that the brigade commander under whom he served his last campaign, and whose fullest confidence he won,—General Revere, a veteran in service,—describes him as a truly splendid officer and magnificently brave.
Immediately after the battle of Bull Run the Excelsior Brigade was ordered to Washington, and put in the defences of the city.
The large fort on the Eastern Branch, known as Fort Stanton, was built under the immediate supervision of Major Stevens.
In October his command was ordered to Lower Maryland, and stationed for some time at Budd's Ferry, opposite Shipping Point, where Rebel batteries blocked the passage of the Potomac.
During the winter of preparation and drill which followed, he gained the warm friendship of his division commander, General Hooker.
With spring came the campaign of the Peninsula.
The division was assigned to the Third Corps, General Heintzelman commanding.
At the siege of Yorktown, busied in the construction of appro
enants on the 10th of July.
A nobler pair never took the field.
Putnam with his fair hair, bright complexion, deep eyes, and uncontaminated countenance, was the impersonation of knightly youth.
He was our Euryalus, quo pulchrior alter non fuit Aeneadum. The cousins were beautifully matched in person, mental accomplishments, and pure heroism of character.
The regiment was ordered to the seat of war at the beginning of September. Captain Schmitt's company was the smallest of the ten.
In October, Lowell writes that there are fifty vacancies,—a dispiriting state of things for both men and officers; but, though strongly condemning the practice of forming skeleton regiments to the detriment of those already in the field, he was resolved to make the best of circumstances.
After a few days at Washington, the Twentieth was ordered to Poolesville, Maryland, where it lay in camp until the 20th of October.
On the 18th of that month Lowell writes to Patten: Hitherto our life has been lik