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[21] One night they held a meeting of unusual interest, and Company A was represented by a large delegation. Among the number was Uncle Ben Falls. Ben had joined the company just before we left Lynnfield. He had been a sailor and his kind heart and ready wit made him a favorite with all. That night Ben was deeply interested. He joined in the hymn, and although his voice might not accord with the rest there was no doubt but what he sang with the same spirit. Soon the excitement reached its height; sobs and groans were heard in all parts of the room, shouts of “Glory!” went up from every heart. The spirit took possession of a girl named Malinda, who was owned at the hotel where our officers boarded, and was acquainted with our boys. She shrieked and groaned and in her striving fell to the floor. The people shouted, “Hold Malinda! Oh, Lord, hold Malinda! The spirit has got Malinda! Oh, Lord, hold her!” but none went near her. This was too much for Ben. He rushed to the front, sat on her and held her down. This brought Malinda and the rest to their senses and the meeting soon closed.

We enjoyed the pleasures of Rockville but a short time after our detail joined the company, as we were ordered back to camp. A new company, recruited in Salem and commanded by Capt. Chas. U. Devereaux, a brother of our lieutenant-colonel, had joined the regiment. They were given the letter H and nicknamed the “Lapstone light infantry,” old Company H being disbanded and the men transferred to other companies.

March 1, by order of Colonel Hincks, I assumed the duties of first sergeant, and of all the trying positions I have ever filled this was the most so. If any one thinks that the life

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