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[148] Colonel (he had lately been promoted to that rank) before recommending him for further advancement. He lacked no quality requisite to the utmost success in the profession of arms. He was rarely skilled in the science of it, had a strong natural liking for it, and possessed to a wonderful degree the power of controlling his men and inspiring them with enthusiastic confidence in him. Poor fellow! I saw them crying in the ranks as they stood presenting arms to his body when it was brought back from over the river.

As a man, too, he was singularly free from faults. To his soldierly traits and accomplishments he added the rarer virtues of Christian morality. He was a steadfast example of modesty, purity, and temperance; yet at the same time his tent was one of the cheeriest places to spend an evening in that the army afforded; for he was the most genial entertainer, and knew the art of good-fellowship to perfection. His generosity and charity were of the kind that “never faileth.” I recall an instance illustrative of this, which I was told by those who witnessed it.

At one time a captain of his regiment, mistakenly conceiving himself injured by the Colonel in some official transaction, for several weeks cherished and expressed a bitter spirit toward him, and avoided meeting him as much as he could. Meanwhile the Colonel took no notice of the matter, but invariably spoke of and to the captain, without manifesting displeasure with his conduct, though its injustice must have deeply offended him.

Finally, however, it was made known to the captain in some way that he had been entirely wrong in the case, and going to the Colonel in person, he acknowledged his fault and made a full apology. It was a scene not easily to be forgotten, when that same evening, at the customary meeting of the regimental officers for training in tactics, the Colonel made the reconciliation public, by taking the captain's hand before them all, and openly declaring his satisfaction in the fact that they were friends again. This same officer was also fatally wounded at Chancellorsville, and it was commonly reported after the battle that he was struck while stooping over the Colonel, having been the first to reach his side after he fell.

Chaplain Patterson took from Colonel Stevens's neck a locket of his wife's hair, and sent it to her, with his papers. The body, dressed in uniform, was wrapped in a blanket, and laid in the ground near the old Wilderness Church. It was

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I. I. Stevens (1)
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