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[381] to the restraints and routine of an infantry regiment. For these reasons, he preferred at first, believing that the contest would be short, the independence and the opportunities for individual enterprise he hoped to find in an unattached command, and in the use of the telescopic rifle.

What it meant for such a man to be a soldier in this way can easily be imagined. His prospect of a peaceful future had been bright. The cherished home of his childhood and youth held him in a loving embrace; and there was one to be left upon whom he had bestowed his strongest affections. All this was to be put in mortal peril, and yet he did not hesitate. He had everything to lose, nothing to win, as men usually count losing and winning. But the risk must be taken, the privation must be endured; thus he felt and thus he acted.

He was a faithful correspondent, writing constantly to his kindred and friends, most frequently to his father; for between his parents and himself the relation was one of strong and tender mutual regard and entire confidence. His letters tell where and how he served; what he became, or rather, how perfectly he continued to be himself during the twelve months spent amid scenes so strange and so distasteful in many respects to his whole nature. The following extracts need no comment, and are therefore given in one group.

near Washington, D. C., September 9, 1861.

You ask if I am satisfied. I am as well satisfied as when I first formed the resolution to go to the war, and the whole affair has the same aspect as then. I have only one wish, which I have had from the first, that the war may be ended as soon as possible (not by compromise), and that we may go home. Some things here are better, and some worse, than I expected . . . . Had a delightful bath yesterday morning. The creek, though not very wide, is deep in some parts, with high banks, covered with trees except where they open on a little meadow here and there. It reminds me of the North Branch of Concord River. Imagine one swimming up the North Branch. Would n'tit be the ne plus ultra of delightful bathing? I suppose the creek runs into the Potomac.

District Columbia, September to, 1861.

The day was intensely hot, and after waiting some time for

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