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[10] anxiety between the first demonstration of the enemy against Washington and the commencement of General McDowell's campaign, Wadsworth was in constant communication with Lieutenant-General Scott, and was employed by him in executing delicate and important commissions. But he was not content with the performance of duties which, however difficult and responsible, made his example less valuable than in the more dangerous service of the field. He soon determined to enter upon this, notwithstanding the sacrifices it involved. Let us remember that he was now considerably past the military age; that his private affairs were numerous and engrossing; that he was able to give wise counsel and large pecuniary aid to government, and fulfil, in this way, every duty which the most exacting patriotism might be supposed to require. He had, as we have seen, a home made attractive by everything which wealth and taste and the love of friends could supply. He had six children,— three sons and three daughters,—some of whom were just coming into the active duties of life; and, while they needed his careful supervision, their affection and high promise made the parting from them all the more difficult and trying. Wadsworth resisted all these temptations, and rejected all these excuses. In June, 1861, he became a volunteer aid on the staff of General McDowell, and fought his first battle in the disastrous affair of Bull Run. His intimate friends declared, when they heard of his resolution to take military service, that this was equivalent to the sacrifice of his life. They knew his bravery was so impetuous that he would court every peril and exposure, and that he would never survive the war. These predictions, alas! were too surely to be accomplished, but not until a later day. They were, indeed, very nearly fulfilled at Bull Run. Nobody was more conspicuous than Wadsworth in every post of danger. He had a horse shot under him in his efforts to rally the panic-stricken troops. He seized the colors of the New York Fourteenth, and adjured that brave regiment to stand up for the old flag. As cool and collected as a veteran, he was one of the last to leave the field, and was most active in restoring order on the retreat, and in assisting,

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June, 1861 AD (1)
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