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[144] policy of constantly sending out bodies of raw and inexperienced men to be instructed by incompetent hands in numerous and varied duties, when the same material, put into regiments already in the field, would give them new strength and vigor, and the recruits would themselves speedily become assimilated and learn one additional lesson of incalculable value to a soldier,—a pride in the history and name of their organization.

He returned, September 1st, with one hundred and twentyeight recruits; and as Colonel Taylor had been commissioned as Brigadier-General, was promoted to the colonelcy, the commission dating from September 8th.

In November, marching across the country, he rejoined the Army of the Potomac at Warrenton Junction. At Fredericksburg his command was in the left grand division under Franklin, and was not engaged. The winter was given to the drill and discipline of his regiment, now largely increased by the addition of new men, and with such success that General Revere (now the brigade commander) describes it as a magnificent regiment of stalwart men in splendid condition.

The end of April found the Army of the Potomac again in motion. The Third Corps crossed the Rappahannock at the United States ford on Friday, May 1st, and, moving up towards Chancellorsville, bivouacked in the rear of the troops then briskly engaged with the enemy. During that night and the following day the enemy was busy in cutting a road through the woods in front of our line, and marching by it large masses of his force from the left to our extreme right, where late in the afternoon they burst like a tornado upon the astounded Eleventh Corps, breaking it and driving it before them.

The Third Corps was hurried up to check the rout and hold the enemy, who by their own impetus had then been thrown somewhat into confusion.

The most graphic sketch of the demeanor of Colonel Stevens on that day is to be found in a manuscript narrative by Chaplain J. H. Twichell of the Second Excelsior Regiment, from which the following is an extract:—

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