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[88] Massachusetts had no more ardent members than these three young men from New Hampshire.

It happened that about this time General Sherman's Battery of United States artillery came to Boston from Newport for the purpose of giving an exhibition in encampment, parade, and drill on Boston Common. Young Nims saw the drill and was delighted; after this nothing would do for him but the artillery.

Early in 1854 he enlisted in a new battery raised under command of Capt. Moses G. Cobb, and was made first sergeant on the night of his enlistment. After three years of service, he was made fourth lieutenant and later received command of the battery. During his term of command he made this battery famous for its efficiency and perfect organization.

‘I resigned from my command in 1860,’ said Colonel Nims in an interview some years since, ‘and my last appearance with it, my last parade in fact, was on the occasion of the review on Boston Common by the Prince of Wales, the late King Edward, who was on a visit to America.’

Then came the Civil War. The battery with which Colonel Nims had been connected was among the first to volunteer and although he was not a member he rendered efficient aid in equipping and drilling the men, accompanying them as far as New York when they started on active service. Just as he took the train, a prominent official said to him, “Nims, we will have six guns ready for you when you return.”

The organization of the 2d Massachusetts and its service in the field has already been recorded in the pages of this book and this naturally includes the military career of its captain.

A few quotations may serve to show the more personal side of Colonel Nims and the relations existing between the commander and his men.

The following extract is from a letter written by an officer while at Franklin, La.Captain Nims is the hardest working officer I ever saw, always looking out for the interests of the ’

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