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[303] his cheeks. But he could not speak above a whisper. He gave his orders through a member of his staff; and his brigade was, as usual, the first ready. Just as they were in the thickest of the fire that was poured on them from the town, a cry arose, ‘The Colonel is hit!’ He fell from his horse into the arms of his aids, and was carried forward, in the track of his rapidly advancing brigade, to a house within the village.

The ball had severed his spine at the neck; and his body was completely paralyzed below the wound. He gave no signs of suffering; his mind was perfectly clear; and he rested calm and cheerful, though he knew from the beginning that he had no chance of life. He dictated some private messages of affection. Then, from time to time through the night, as his waning strength would allow, he gave complete directions about all the details of his command. Not the smallest thing was forgotten; no one was left in doubt. In the intervals he remained silent, with his eyes closed. Twice he directed his surgeon to leave him and look to the injuries of other officers and of some wounded prisoners whose voices he heard without. He expressed pleasure at the triumphant issue of the fight, and at Colonel Gansevoort's victory over Mosby, news of which was brought in that day. As dawn approached, it was evident that his spirit was gradually freeing itself from its vesture of decay. He had finished his ‘day's work’; and he lay tranquil, his mind withdrawn, it seemed, into that chamber of still thought, known so imperfectly to the nearest of his friends, wherein was the seat of his deepest life. Even in his last hour he was fully conscious, and seemed to retain his strength. But he spoke less and less often; and as day rose into full morning, he ceased to. breathe the air of earth.

A letter, from one whose official position under government gives his opinion authority, says, ‘I do not think there was any officer in all the army so much beloved as Lowell.’ ‘We all shed tears,’ said Custer, ‘ when we knew we had lost him. It is the greatest loss the cavalry corps has ever suffered.’ ‘ I do not think there was a quality,’ said Sheridan, ‘which I could have added to Lowell. He was the perfection of a man ’

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Carlotta Russell Lowell (2)
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