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[41]

Chapter 6: battles of Fairfax Court house, Flint Hill and Antietam.

My position had changed during the past year from corporal in Company A to second lieutenant in Company I, and it took me some time to get accustomed to the new office. Up to the time I left Company A no man had been punished; but the morning that I reported for duty in Company I Captain Plympton had one man on a barrel and another on knapsack drill, and I thought I had made a mistake in not taking sparring lessons before being promoted.

I found the men of Company I as good-hearted a lot as there was in the regiment, only a little wild. The leader of the company was a young boy; he was about seventeen years old, and a private soldier, yet he was the one who settled all disputes. He was well informed in regard to the movements of the army, and had ideas respecting future campaigns that he was ready to discuss with officers or men. Soon after I joined the company he called on me and made a little speech of welcome, saying that the boys were glad I had been assigned to the company, and assured me they would make it pleasant for me. Such a reception was very gratifying. I was but twenty years of age and doubted my ability to control these men, but I commanded the company for nearly two years, and punished but one man during the

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