September 11.I wrote thus far last month, when the demon of laziness made a prey and a spoil of me; and then I was sent by Surgeon-General Dale to the assistance of the Second Massachusetts Regiment, which had come to great grief at Culpeper. . . . . Everything there was quiet and comfortable, till suddenly there came an order for the regiment to strike its camp and move to the rear. I was summoned into the town, where I was worked by the Medical Director for twenty-four hours in getting off the sick and wounded on the cars to Washington; all in the town were thus sent, except about eighty, who could not have borne the journey. We personally finally evacuated about four P. M., 19th August, and made our way in the rear of the army, which had been advancing towards Washington from the Rapidan in a steady stream for about twenty-four hours. Instead of being sent to Washington on one of the trains, as I had expected, I was told to rejoin the regiment, which I found on the northern side of the Rappahannock. . . . . Having thus rejoined the regiment, when there was every prospect of immediate shindy, I could not of course leave them, and have been with them through all the marching of the two weeks campaign, which has ended in Pope's sudden and by no means dignified exit from Virginia. We did all sorts of things except fight; we marched and counter-marched, we guarded baggage, we went hungry and thirsty, we spread our blankets on the ground with no other cover than the canopy of heaven; in short, the experience was more severe than any the regiment have ever been through, and was harder than that of the Army of the Potomac when it removed from before Richmond to Harrison's Landing. . . . . They want me to go as Surgeon of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts, and I am undecided whether I shall do right in accepting or not; if I don't go with them, I shall probably go back to the Sanitary, which also requested my services.
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Ode recited at the Harvard commemoration, July 21 , 1865 .
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