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[108]

Montgomery Ritchie.

Vol. A. D. C. (rank of Captain), June, 1861; (rank of Major), July, 1861; Captain and Commissary of Subsistence U. S. Vols., December, 1861; Captain 1st Mass. Cavalry, November 25, 1862; discharged, on resignation, May 6, 1864; died of disease contracted in the service, November 7, 1864.


Montgomery Ritchie was a man of marked character. He was modest, even to the degree of self-distrust; his manners were reserved, his impressions slowly received, but, when once received, ineffaceable. His nature, like that of many others, was liable to be mistaken, partly because it was veiled, partly because it was made up of various and even opposite qualities; but to those who penetrated it, it constantly tended towards transparency and harmony.

His self-distrust was a prominent trait. His standard was too high to be easily attained or easily approached, and he was not wont to think himself as near it as he actually was. He constantly scrutinized his own motives and actions, and often held himself back, when others, less self-questioning than he, would have pressed forward. His friends valued him the more for his humility. It was to many of them an example which he was quite unconscious of setting, and which is not the less persuasive now that it is set only by his memory.

He was self-distrustful, but he was also self-relying. He did not hesitate to decide when the hour for decision came, or shrink from action when it was time to act. He had some grave difficulties to meet, and he met them steadily; some serious trials to bear, and he bore them firmly. His resolution was often tested, and seldom, if ever, failed to stand the test. He was a man whose principle sustained him when those who were quicker than he to begin were also quicker than he to end their efforts. His modesty never paralyzed, never weakened him.

With all his reserve, he was full of ardor. His temper was hot, and it was one of the great successes of his life to bring it

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