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[184] Regiment,—the first regiment of three years troops recruited in Worcester County,—he cheerfully departed for the seat of war in August, 1861, never again to return to the city of his residence, until, nearly eighteen months afterwards, he was borne through its hushed streets, with solemn honors, to his lowly resting-place.

Space will not permit to follow Surgeon Haven with anything like minuteness through his military career. Only a few of the many facts and incidents at hand can be used, illustrating the character of his devotion to duty.

Though in the service about a year and a half, he never asked leave of absence to revisit his home, nor, it is believed, was he ever absent from his post for a single day, except on imperative business. Much of the time while Assistant Surgeon, owing to the illness or absence of his superior medical officer, he had the sole charge of the sick and wounded of his regiment; yet his letters do not breathe one word of complaint, nor even a suggestion that his path of duty was a hard one.

He early arrived at the conviction,—eventually fatal to himself,—that it was the duty of a surgeon to follow his regiment into actual battle, so that he might be near at hand to succor the wounded. The counter-argument, that on a battle-field the life of a surgeon was much more valuable than that of any one whom he would be likely to save by this undue exposure, and the representation that the wounded might be readily brought to him in some place of comparative safety, availed nothing. His opinion was inflexible; and he ever acted upon it with an utter disregard of danger, that would have won distinguished promotion to any line officer in the service.

At Ball's Bluff, indeed, he was not with his regiment in the conflict itself; but, in his Station on Harrison's Island in the middle of the Potomac, he was by no means out of danger; for at one time, as he says in his short letter of October 24th, ‘the bullets poured in upon us like hailstones.’ Another brief extract from the same letter shows how little he regarded himself. One of the boats in which the wounded were removed had swamped. ‘It seemed an impossibility to get the wounded ’

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