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[262] in events as they are, which was the principle and habit of his life. He writes: ‘I buried hope yesterday, had a glorious wake, and resolved to sink every other wish in the absorbing one of the success of the war, without or with the Massachusetts Second, as it may happen.’ Thanksgiving day occurred during the month, when, owing to the absence of his Colonel and the illness of his Lieutenant-Colonel, he was in command of the regiment. He enjoyed making the arrangements requisite to secure a happy season for the men. After a graphic and spirited account of the festivities of the day, he says: ‘I hope on our next Thanksgiving we may be all together; but if not, at least we can hope to be as thankful as we are now.’ ‘Our next Thanksgiving’ found us standing by his grave; but these words of his were not forgotten. Many lessons of thankfulness and hope had he given us in the darkest hours of our country's trial. After the disaster of Ball's Bluff, he was asked if his heart did not sink. ‘Sink?’ he replies, ‘it swims like a duck when I think of the future that some of our eyes shall see; and will not they swim, too, with intense delight, when the sight dawns upon them? For myself, even now I cannot look upon the flag which we brought away from Boston without a glow and heart-bump, which I take to be only faint symptoms of the emotion that is to come.’

In December, 1861, when everything looked darkest, he writes:—

I can confidently wish a merry Christmas to you, and look forward to a happy New Year. We are fighting a good fight; if only we can be true to ourselves and to our cause, we have a right to indulge the brightest hopes and rely on the best promises. God is with us. Hang up every sign of Christmas,—the freshest green. Commemorate the message and the Prince of Peace. Gather the Christmas family circle, and remember the absent; for family ties are never so close as in the days of separation and trial.

As late as May 9th, the service of the regiment was still to ‘stand and wait.’ Then he writes: ‘Of course, this is a severe trial to me,—the severest, I think of my life,—but, ’

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