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 letters showed much of his accustomed philosophy, but no enthusiasm and little enjoyment. None of them are now accessible to quote from, and I speak of them from memory alone. He complied with forms which he detested, fulfilled a routine which he undervalued, and saw a seemingly useless campaign draw its slow length along. It will always remain uncertain what influence active service might have had in concentrating his powers of action and developing the latent enthusiasm of his nature. But it is certain that inactive service, under generals in whom his shrewd sagacity put no faith, and with noble companions whose lives he saw wasted, gave neither joy nor tonic to his nature. The disastrous battle of Cedar Mountain, the first important engagement of the Second Massachusetts, took place on the 9th of August, 1862. The regiment was under fire but half an hour, yet of twenty-two officers who went in only eight came out unhurt; five were killed, five wounded, three others wounded and captured, and one captured while attending a wounded comrade. Of the five killed, three stand recorded in these volumes,—Abbott, Goodwin, and Perkins,—besides Savage, who died of his wounds. Of those five killed, moreover, three went into battle almost too ill to stand, of whom Stephen Perkins was one. ‘All our officers behaved nobly,’ wrote Robert Shaw after this battle, in a letter which will be found elsewhere in full. ‘Those who ought to have stayed away did n't. It was splendid to see those sick fellows walk straight up into the shower of bullets as if it were so much rain; men who, until this year, had lived lives of perfect ease and luxury.’ In a contest so hot, individual casualties pass for a time unnoticed, and often the precise facts can never be established. Robert Shaw says: ‘The men were ordered to lie down until the enemy came nearer. Almost all the officers kept on their feet, though.’ This readily explains the fearful loss among those thus prominent. It is stated by Colonel H. S. Russell, then Captain in the Second, that when the regiment had been in position about twenty minutes, Stephen Perkins received a
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