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[344]

After the usual month's furlough allowed on re-enlistment, he returned with his regiment to the army of the Potomac in March, 1864; and May 3, 1864, entered upon the campaign in the Wilderness, having charge of his company. Just as the campaign commenced, he received from Major-General Butler an appointment, which friends had procured for him, as First Lieutenant in that general's department, dated April 26, 1864. But without seeking for leave or orders to report under that appointment, he put the document in his pocket, and passed safely through the hard fighting of the first few days, until the morning of May 12, 1864, when, in command of his company, he shared in the glories of the charge of Hancock's corps at Spottsylvania Court-House.

The line of works had been carried, cannon and prisoners captured, and half of the regiment killed or wounded, when another advance was made. During this advance, while leading on his company, Sergeant Brown was struck by the fragments of a shell which burst close beside him. His right leg was taken almost off by the explosion, and his left leg was badly mangled.

Immediately after being wounded, he drew from his pocket his unused commission as Lieutenant, now stained with his blood, and a likeness of his betrothed, and told the comrades who came to wait upon him to send those home with the news of his death. He was obliged to lie on the battle-field an hour before he could be conveyed to an ambulance, was then carried three miles for that purpose, and then driven to the field hospital of the Second Corps. He was received into the hospital tent about ten o'clock in the morning, and so great was the vitality of his system, that he lived until half past 6 o'clock of the following morning.

After he was taken into the tent, he told an attendant that his fighting days were over, and he wished him not to leave him until he died, and to inform his parents that he died doing his duty. His mind would often wander, and at times he spoke as if to his mother, and at other times as if to his company on the field.

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