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[130] agonizing to the mind to think of the bare possibility that we may meet no more; but God is all-wise and good. He doeth all things well. When in action I trust I shall act prudently; but I pray God I may never shrink from duty, even if it leads me to the cannon's mouth. . . . .


near Vicksburg, May 20, 1863.

The battle has commenced. The enemy are very strongly intrenched, and hold a very strong position. We expect to storm their works to-day; and if it is in the power of man to take them, they will be taken. May God aid us, I earnestly hope and pray. The battle is not to the strong alone. May the God of battles be on our side, and inspire our men with true and unflinching courage, and give us a speedy victory, and thus bring an end to this awful carnage and desolation. On Sunday, the 17th instant, our regiment, in conjunction with the Twenty-third Iowa Infantry, made a charge upon the rifle-pits at Black River Bridge. Our company lost one man killed, H. W. Britton, my former messmate (poor fellow), and nine wounded, one or two mortally. God mercifully spared my life through this fiery trial, thanks to his name. We buried seven the day of the battle, and four or five have died at the hospital since. The issue of the coming contest lies in the hands of the Almighty. I am as clay in the hands of the potter. He has thus far shielded me from danger. Many must fall; I may be among the number. Go to the Throne of Grace for strength to endure, and a spirit to submit to his holy will and pleasure. I pray for submission to his will, whatever it may be, trusting that if we meet no more on earth, we shall form an unbroken family in that home that Christ has gone to prepare for those that love him. God grant me that unflinching courage that shall enable me to march through the stormy missiles of death without fear.


This was almost the last thing he wrote.

In the charge on the enemy at Black River, May 17th, Goodrich was one of the first to enter their works, and so at the assault on the outer works at Vicksburg, May 22d. Here he contracted the brain fever, of which, on the 4th of June, 1863, he died. He was taken into the tent of his Lieutenant, for more tender nursing; and recovering his consciousness for a little while before his death, his last messages were for the welfare of his children, that they might be brought up in the path of Christian duty.

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