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[245] engaged in the fighting, and I not there,—a source of great trouble and regret to me. I shall go to them just as soon as I can.

He was met half-way by tidings of loss.

Boonsborough, Maryland, Monday night, September 22.

. . . . I have to-day, while on my way from Frederick hither (sixteen miles), learned the fate of my regiment. We have lost, in two battles, nearly every commissioned officer, killed or wounded. The Colonel's left arm is gone at the shoulder, and the Lieutenant-Colonel is shot through the neck. Captain Bartlett is killed, and Captains Andrews and Lathrop are the only ones fit for duty in the regiment. I believe my men (I shall, till the Lieutenant-Colonel recovers, be in command of the regiment) are not more than ten miles distant; and I hope to reach them to-morrow.

But you can tell how sad a thing this loss of officers and men (fifty-two killed, two hundred and five wounded) is; one quarter part of the regiment gone, taking out the sick, and necessary attendants. The thousand that marched up State Street, little more than four weeks since, now number hardly more than six hundred; and I almost dread seeing the diminished ranks.

He found himself just in time to assume the command.

September 28.

I am working with all my might on the regiment; and hope, in the course of the week, to get things agoing systematically. You can hardly conceive what up-hill work it is. There are but three captains in the regiment, and everything has to be organized. Morning reports, accounts of the sick and wounded; bothers innumerable about forage, commissary stores, subsistence, &c.; servants' attendance, regiment's wash-sinks, guards, funds, sutlers, discipline, drill, details for different duties, postage, losses in battle, and everything else conceivable. . . . . I did not think, when I left Boston and walked over to Lynnfield, that I should be in command of the remainder of the regiment in less than five weeks.

He was a strict disciplinarian, and gave the regiment a character it never lost. Naturally he enforced those particulars wherein he never failed himself. He writes, October 2d:—

I have intense satisfaction in my position as commander for two reasons,—it enables me to enforce cleanliness, and prohibit swearing;

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