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stered into the service of the United States on the 12th of September following. From this time he shared the fortunes of his company, in North Carolina, marching and fighting with it on the Tarborough expedition of November, and in the Goldsborough expedition of the month after. Very early in his experience as a soldier Weston found out —what his friends had feared from the time of his enlistment —that his physical strength was quite inadequate to the exposures of military life. On the first expedition towards Tarborough, and just before the retreat, he became utterly prostrated by a violent attack of camp diarrhea, and at Hamilton he was ordered by the surgeon to leave his regiment, and take passage down the Roanoke, for Newbern, in a gunboat. I can recall with perfect distinctness his appearance and manner, and the very tone of his voice, his eyes burning, yet full of tears, as he told me what the orders were which he had received from Dr. Ware. Several of his companions sai
think, and have every hope of success. The exhausting march of thirty miles made by the Ninth Corps, on the 4th of May, nearly broke him down; but on the 7th he announces:— A great and glorious battle yesterday, at the end of which, to my astonishment, I found myself unhurt. It seemed very unnatural, I assure you, and somewhat agreeable. It was little mote than a drawn battle; but, in conjunction with other movements, I rather think it answered every purpose of victory. On the 10th, General Stevenson was killed, and Mills wrote— Imagine our horror and grief. There was not the slightest hope. Why in Heaven's name could it not have selected some other spot, and even taken one of us. His loss is irreparable to the division and his friends. He was the most gallant, brave, and thorough soldier, the most kind-hearted, considerate, generous-spirited man, and one of the most agreeable companions, I ever knew. I always liked him; and, in the three weeks that I was with h
ll for me to go; and I suppose it would be better to have a master who knows just what is needed to enter Harvard. January 30, 1856. Last Sunday was Mozart's hundredth birthday, and his opera Don Giovanni was given here; and on Monday I went to a beautiful concert, where none but his music was sung and played. Then besides these, the bands of two or three regiments gave concerts and played only Mozart's music. I always think of you when I hear fine music. Your letter of the 13th instant reached me to-day. You speak of my coming home as early in the spring as possible. I shall certainly do so; for I want very much to be with you again. Though I know a great many people here, I never get confidential with any, and I have no one to talk to as I can to you. The first of April I shall leave Hanover, and shall arrive in America about the 1st of May, and shall be very glad indeed to go to Cambridge. He reached Boston in May, just at the beginning of the Presidential camp
r us, when they were brought in dead, and they cannot be replaced. The bodies were taken to town, and Lieutenant Francis and I had them packed in charcoal to go to Washington, where they will be put in metallic coffins. I took a lock of hair from each one to send to their friends. It took almost all night to get them ready for transportation. After the battle of Antietam he writes:— Maryland Heights, September 21, 1862. Dear father,—. . . . We left Frederick on the 14th instant, marched that day and the next to Boonsborough, passing through a gap in the mountain where Burnside had had a fight the day before. On the 16th our corps, then commanded by General Mansfield, took up a position in rear of Sumner's, and lay there all day. The Massachusetts cavalry was very near us. I went over and spent the evening with them, and had a long talk with Forbes about home and friends there. . . . . We lay on his blanket before the fire until nearly ten o'clock, and then I le
charcoal to go to Washington, where they will be put in metallic coffins. I took a lock of hair from each one to send to their friends. It took almost all night to get them ready for transportation. After the battle of Antietam he writes:— Maryland Heights, September 21, 1862. Dear father,—. . . . We left Frederick on the 14th instant, marched that day and the next to Boonsborough, passing through a gap in the mountain where Burnside had had a fight the day before. On the 16th our corps, then commanded by General Mansfield, took up a position in rear of Sumner's, and lay there all day. The Massachusetts cavalry was very near us. I went over and spent the evening with them, and had a long talk with Forbes about home and friends there. . . . . We lay on his blanket before the fire until nearly ten o'clock, and then I left him, little realizing what a day the next was to be, though a battle was expected; and I thought, as I rode off, that perhaps we should n't see eac
vening with them, and had a long talk with Forbes about home and friends there. . . . . We lay on his blanket before the fire until nearly ten o'clock, and then I left him, little realizing what a day the next was to be, though a battle was expected; and I thought, as I rode off, that perhaps we should n't see each other again. Fortunately, we have both got through safely so far. At about eleven P. M., Mansfield's corps was moved two or three miles to the right. At one in the morning of the 17th we rested in a wheat-field. Our pickets were firing all night, and at daylight we were waked up by the artillery; we were moved forward immediately, and went into action in about fifteen minutes. The Second Massachusetts was on the right of Gordon's brigade, and the Third Wisconsin next; the latter was in a very exposed position, and lost as many as two hundred killed and wounded in a short time. We were posted in a little orchard, and Colonel Andrews got a cross-fire on that part of the en
d the young lieutenant with his regiment at Culpeper, in temporary command of Company D. The regiment, both officers and men, seem in excellent spirits, he wrote; the true Devil-may-care spirit pervades, them, though of course they feel the loss of their comrades severely. His introduction to the field was of the rudest, and his experience of one month most discouraging to any nature less undaunted. Joining his regiment on the afternoon of the 17th of August, he set off at midnight of the 18th on that disastrous retreat of Pope which culminated in the second Bull Run. He wrote:— August 19.—We marched about two miles in blissful ignorance of our destination, except that it is somewhere in the rear, there being rumors of a fight, in which every one, with characteristic and gloomy calm, assumes that we have been thrashed. However, soldiers always grumble, I suppose. August 20.—I began to appreciate how little an officer has to eat on the march. It is rather ridiculous. Au<
y of the Potomac was then withdrawn from its remote position at Hanover Court-House. The Eighteenth returned to Gaines's Mills and remained there till the 26th of June, the day before the battle there fought by General Porter, in command of the right wing of our army, after Jackson had rejoined Lee. It was the first of that series of battles which attended the disastrous retreat of the Union Army to the left bank of the river James. In anticipation of this retreat, a force was sent, on the 26th, from General Porter's camp, to co-operate in the work of changing the base of the army from White House to Harrison's Landing. This force consisted of light cavalry and artillery, with two regiments of infantry, and was placed in command of General Stoneman. The Massachusetts Eighteenth was one of the regiments selected for this arduous service and most efficiently did its part. General Stoneman and his command, after reaching White House and accomplishing the object of the expedition, mo
February 4th (search for this): chapter 27
l that he had ability enough for the undertaking, and hoping that his refusal might not lower him in the opinion of the Governor. This letter never reached Governor Andrew, for the following reason: the morning after the father's arrival in New York, he received a telegram from his son. Stafford Court-House, February 5. Please destroy my letter and telegraph to the Governor that I accept. Extracts from two letters written at this time show the state of his mind:— February 4. Father has just left here. He came down yesterday, and brought me an offer from Governor Andrew of the colonelcy of his new black regiment. The Governor considers it a most important command, and I could not help feeling, from the tone of his letter, that he did me a great honor in offering it to me. My father will tell you some of the reasons why I thought I ought not to accept it. If I had taken it, it would only have been from a sense of duty, for it would have been anything but
February 5th (search for this): chapter 27
bringing with him a letter to Governor Andrew from his son, thanking the Governor earnestly for the great honor done him by his offer, and stating frankly that he did not feel that he had ability enough for the undertaking, and hoping that his refusal might not lower him in the opinion of the Governor. This letter never reached Governor Andrew, for the following reason: the morning after the father's arrival in New York, he received a telegram from his son. Stafford Court-House, February 5. Please destroy my letter and telegraph to the Governor that I accept. Extracts from two letters written at this time show the state of his mind:— February 4. Father has just left here. He came down yesterday, and brought me an offer from Governor Andrew of the colonelcy of his new black regiment. The Governor considers it a most important command, and I could not help feeling, from the tone of his letter, that he did me a great honor in offering it to me. My father
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