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[53] that under the article, of war, troops could not be held to their contract unless paid once in four months. Five months had gone by and we had not been paid, and some were punished for refusing to do duty. When the officers became acquainted with the state of affairs existing in the ranks, the matter was soon subdued and we were made acquainted with what we must do, and do it without cavil. This made many disaffected, and they, being sick of war, argued that the private soldier could get no justice; the government did not keep its contracts, therefore the soldier ought not to fight; it was a blanked nigger war anyway, and they were not going to fight for the negro, or “nigger” as they called him. Reports were circulated that there were men who made it a business to assist men north and would furnish them with citizens' clothes and money when once they got to the Potomac; and so, their minds heated with imaginary wrongs, filled with disgust for the war, homesick, discouraged and desperate, many deserted from the regiment, and made their way north and into Canada, and their names are today borne on the rolls of the company and regiment as deserters. I knew of one party that went and I was invited first, urged next, and damned last, because I would not go with them. It was said that one of them lost his life, being shot by a cavalry vidette, and one came back to the regiment, while the rest made their escape. While the camp at White Oak Church was well located for health, there was considerable sickness, many not being able to adapt themselves to the hardships of camp life, so that our regiment was greatly reduced in number, having less than six hundred men in the ranks. For example, my company, as I recollect, had lost by battle Spicer, Doxtater and Davis; by disease, John Murphy, John Bussey,

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