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[356] soon terminate. “You would like to go home at once, wouldn't you?” he said, again going to the door and asking Rawlins, his chief-of-staff, to have leave of absence and pass made out for me. He signed the papers, and thanked me for my promptness.

It was the last time I ever saw Grant in uniform. I went to my home in the far West. I was, as a soldier, almost alone; yet in a few days I saw the little fragment of the company, of which I had been a member, returning from the war. They were veterans then. I, too, was a veteran. I heard the drums beating, and again I went down to the village, and there saw the “boys” paraded for the last time on the green grass of the court-house yard; on the very spot, indeed, where, four years before, we had been mustered in. There was not so much room required now, as then. Twenty-seven bronzed faces were all that were left of a hundred stout youths who had stood on that same spot but four short years before. There was no cheering now, as then; the silence was painful, almost. Many of the wives, and mothers, and sisters who were there before, were not there again — they could not be. In their desolate homes they sat, and, like Rachel, wept and would not be comforted. Their soldiers had been left behind; had been mustered out on the red battle-field many a day before. I have left my native village since then-I could not stay there. The recollections that always crowded upon my mind when passing the green court yard made it impossible.

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