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Chapter 9: regiment ordered home.--receptions.--my first call upon Governor Andrew.--return to the front.

In December I resolved to return to the regiment. My wound was not healed and my surgeon protested, but I was anxious to see the boys. Upon my arrival at Washington what was my surprise to find that I had been discharged by order of the War Department November 5, as being unable to perform military duty. With Col. Gardiner Tufts, the Massachusetts State agent, I visited the War Department and was informed that I should receive my discharge through my regimental headquarters. If ever a man had the blues I had. My sickness had cost me several hundred dollars, I was unable to perform any kind of labor, was out of money, and could not settle with the government until my papers were received; but Colonel Tufts could always make the path of a soldier smooth and he was able to secure me two months pay. From Washington I went to the regiment, which was camped near Stevensburg, Va. I waited until after January 1 for my discharge, but it did not come, and my wound was so bad that the surgeon ordered me home. Colonel Rice was in command of the regiment, Colonel Devereaux being in command of the Philadelphia brigade. I called on Colonel Devereaux, who was very indignant to learn that I had been discharged; he said he would see about it, and I knew that meant something.

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