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[65]

The boys will remember their independent explorations in the fields and woods, in front of our line,—the large cornfield, the stalks as high as a horseman's head, not a weed among them, only now and then a sassafras shoot, or a blackberry vine; then the blackberry patches beyond, with plenty of fruit; the woods, the old logs and stumps on which lizards crawl that reflect the color of whatever they are upon, large fellows with serpent's head and tail, and a body shaped like a baby alligator's; an occasional snake, too, like one for example that comrades M. and L. found coiled under their gum blanket one morning before first call. It will be recollected that L., on being asked what they did on first seeing the reptile, replied: ‘I guess, by Guy, we got up.’

But whims, vagaries, and jokes float upon a troublous sea. Happy he who may be wafted along upon them. The serious side of life inexorably presents itself during our gayest moments. Our beloved comrade, Geo. B. White, model soldier and admirable man, reached this place worn and exhausted, his fund of vitality so low that he could hardly make his way with slow, uncertain steps to the surgeon's quarters. Yet he strove for a time to perform assigned duty until he was obliged to succumb. It was sad to look upon his pale, emaciated face, but inspiring to behold his patience and hope. It was but a day before his death that he was removed to the hospital tent. On the eve before the final event an elderly comrade said, ‘He's struck with death.’ We buried him within the shadow of the old church, one of the oldest in Virginia. The elms wave over the grave we made, upon which, after Lieut. Sleeper, responsive to the chaplain's words, had sprinkled a handful of dust upon the coffin, we piled earth and sods, and a platoon of infantry discharged their farewell shots. A comrade prepared a neat headboard, on which was carved the name and age, the name of the company of the deceased, and the legend, ‘Peace to his ashes.’ Lieut. McCartney was heard speaking in the highest terms of the deceased to the chaplain, paying a just and kindly tribute to the memory of the quiet, modest, and brave soldier.

Comrades Cummings and Langley are weak and debilitated; the shadowy appearance of the former is touching to contemplate. Comrade Currier has made his last march; one of the lithest, most active fellows was he, not an ounce of loose flesh upon his frame,—

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George B. White (1)
J. Henry Sleeper (1)
William H. McCartney (1)
Harry Langley (1)
Guy (1)
Calvin Currier (1)
Charles Cummings (1)
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