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It was the last letter the brave man ever wrote. Four days afterwards he fell at the post of duty. ‘On the afternoon of the 26th of August,’ writes a friend and brother officer, ‘three hundred men of his regiment were ordered to be in line in the foremost trenches, to charge and capture the advanced rifle-pits of the enemy. At this time Lieutenant Perkins, almost conquered by fever, had been prevailed upon to abstain from work for a few days; but now nothing could induce him not to rejoin his regiment. To use the words in which Brigadier-General Stevenson wrote, “My friend had been quite ill for two or three weeks and was off duty, but he insisted on going forward with the regiment, notwithstanding all the officers advised him to remain in camp. When the regiment was having extra ammunition issued to them before starting, I persuaded him to come to my tent and dine with me, which he did; and I begged him not to go to the front. He answered that he could not remain behind, he should be so uneasy during all the time the regiment was gone. Colonel Osborne at one time proposed to order him to remaim in camp, but did not, as James was so desirous of going.” The regiment charged. In a few moments they had gained the works of the enemy, captured seventy prisoners, and with their spades were throwing up a breastwork in the very front and teeth of the concentrated fire of Fort Wagner. Perkins's men were avoiding this tremendous cannonade by sometimes dodging; and the work was not so brisk as he wished it. “It is no use to dodge,” he said, “do as I do,” and stood upright ’
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