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[176] it. In his military service, his duties were always promptly and cheerfully fulfilled; and camp life, which throws men and officers so intimately together, gave him many opportunities to do kind offices to others. His firmness and gentleness made him also a desirable assistant when amputations and difficult operations among the wounded were to be performed. He had formerly, in the universities, steeled his nerves by witnessing such painful scenes, after he once found he was very weak in looking at the sufferings of others, and needed some self-discipline to acquire that perfect composure which he thought every man ought to have. How quietly and manfully he bore his pain his own words show (written in his diary), when he lay in the great agony of his mortal wound on the battle-field of Antietam.

While trying to rally our men, a musket-ball struck me in the small of my back, and I fell from my horse. As I write this, I have been lying here more than an hour, powerless to move my right leg. I think the wound must be mortal. I have been praying God to forgive my sins, to bless and comfort my darling wife and children, my dearest mother and sisters. As I have been lying here in very great pain, shells have been bursting close to me almost constantly. I wish my friends to know that I have fallen while doing my duty as well as was possible, which I can truly assert, and that I have not uttered a groan as yet, lying alone on the hard ground, in the sun, with no friend near.

Eight hours he remained in this same position, till found by his friends. He was carried into a farm-house, where he received the kindest treatment. His mother and sister had the consolation of being with him during his last sickness, and present at his death; not so his wife, who learned her misfortune only at the moment of her arrival from Europe. He left behind him three little girls, the youngest of whom he had never seen. He probably little thought, when he wrote, two days before the battle of Antietam, in a letter which alludes to the want of sleep he had undergone, ‘O, how I long for a few hours' assured rest!’ how soon his eyes should close in the last deepest sleep, from which there is no more awakening. Many were the hearts that mourned his death, and many the tears that were shed at his early grave.

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