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[24] marched on, but in a few days returned and took position on Bolivar Heights, occupying deserted houses. Captain Merritt was appointed provost marshal at the ferry and everything was soon in military order, the company quartered in houses, the officers boarding in the town. One day Captain Merritt, with a detail from the company, made a seizure of several barrels of whiskey and a keg of gin, which were taken to a vacant store and a guard placed over them. Somehow the keg of gin disappeared; where it had gone no one knew. The next day was our last in town, having been ordered to join the regiment quite early in the morning. I noticed some of the men were very happy, but as we had been called by the other companies “Merritt's Sabbath school children,” I thought it possible they were rehearsing for a Sabbath school concert. The increase of the spiritual manifestations told me that the cause of the inspiration must be the gin, and that it was not far away. After searching awhile I found the missing keg in the cellar. Unlike many of the men, it was nearly empty. In the midst of the seance Captain Merritt arrived. He came to order me to have the company in line ready to move at once. When he saw the condition of some of the men I guess he thought we had better move in ambulances. As we were going the rounds of the rooms we met Ben Falls, perfectly sober, having just been relieved from guard. Captain Merritt (referring to the condition of the company) said, “Ben, I am astonished.” “Well,” said Ben, “it is not my fault; I have been on guard, but I will get just as full as the rest as soon as I find the stuff.” When the time came to march all were in fair condition, and before we reached Bolivar Heights, as good as ever. As it was the first offence the men were let

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C. M. Merritt (5)
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