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[243] who came to him singly were taught the military knowledge requisite for the positions they sought or had obtained.

Thus passed the year 1861. The dawning spring of 1862 brought new triumphs to our cause, and it appeared that the beginning of the end was nigh. All that spring, the progress of our arms seemed certain; but it did not diminish Willard's activity in his labor of drilling, nor did it lessen his regret in bearing no share in a task to which he found himself so well suited.

Then came the long summer days, bringing first doubt, darkening our long-cherished hopes, then despair, as all the great enterprise on which we had built dwindled to shameful defeat. Sidney Willard's decision was made, and with the same quietness with which he had suppressed all suggestion of desire to take part in the war, when that desire could not be followed by performance, he now announced his purpose, and immediately set about its execution. In three days after his application for a commission, he had raised the requisite number of men, and was appointed Captain in the Thirty-fifth Regiment, then in process of formation, on the 13th of August. On the 21st, the day before his departure for the war, he was married to Miss Sarah R. Fiske, daughter of Augustus H. Fiske, Esq., an eminent lawyer, at the latter's country residence in Weston.

On the 22d of August the regiment left for the war. There was no more noticeable man in its ranks than Captain Willard, marching with stately figure through the eager, crowded streets, to enter upon a mode of life that had little in it to attract him, his face sobered by the duty which separated him from all he loved, but set with a resolution that never looked back; an untried commander, with men even more untried, hastening to the field when the country's peril was greatest.

He received his commission as Major of the regiment September 2d, while encamped at Arlington Heights. From this point his own letters tell the story. He thus writes:—

near Washington, August 25, 1862.

We camped in the open field all night. . . . . It is just like


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