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[139] State in brigades. The gallant record of the Vermont brigade was nowhere more conspicuous than in the Wilderness campaign. The first five regiments lost in the battle of the Wilderness, May 5-6, 1864, 195 killed, 1,017 wounded, and 57 missing, making a total of 1,269. Within a week its loss had amounted to 58 per cent. of the number engaged. The words of the poet are therefore no merely fanciful picture of frightful loss in battle. There were a dozen battles in which the Federal armies alone lost more than 10,000 men, enough in each case to populate a city, and it has been estimated that the totals on both sides amounted to more than 700,000 killed and wounded. When it is recalled that most of these were young men, who in the natural course of events had many years of usefulness yet to live for their country, the cost to the American nation is simply appalling. This is entirely aside from the many sorrowing mourners for the heroes of the Old Vermont Brigade and for many others who failed on any battlefield to answer ‘Here’ at roll-call.


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