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[390] He attended also the medical lectures of Michigan University, at Ann Arbor, during the winter of 186-62; but before his course of study was completed, the war changed all his plans.

On February 7, 1862, he enlisted as Hospital Steward in the Twelfth Michigan Volunteers (Infantry), then in camp at Niles, Michigan. He took part in the battle of Shiloh, where he was made prisoner,—an experience which is graphically described in one of his letters.

my dear friends,—I have not heard a word from you since I left Niles. Don't you write, or do the letters fail of coming through? I presume it is the latter. At any rate, I presume you would like to hear from me, and to know that I am alive and uninjured after this great battle. Well, I am so; but I got my share of the bad luck of last Sunday, for I have been a prisoner among the Secesh until last night, and had rather a hard time of it; but have got back safe to our lines, and mighty glad I was to do so too.

The papers will give you the details of the battle better than I could do, but I will tell you all I know about it in brief. Our pickets had been skirmishing two or three days previously; but our commanders do not seem to have known of the enemy's advance in force. We had no artillery in the front, either, nor any strong force on picket duty. On Sunday morning, about two o'clock, the attack began on our camp. The pickets had been driven in within a mile of the camp, and our men then went out to reinforce them. You must understand that the attack began along the whole line about the same time; but the camps were disposed irregularly, and ours was the first attacked at this point. The camp was not intrenched at all, and the trees in front of it not even cut down. The first that I saw of the fight was the line of our men drawn up a little way in front of the tents, and firing at the enemy, whom I could not see. The Rebels greatly outnumbered us, but we were in hopes our men could hold them at bay until reinforcements should arrive. None came, however, and our men were gradually forced back. They retired slowly, fighting as they went, and doing splendidly for green troops, until they came to the camp. Then the enemy began to come in at the sides as well as in front,—flanking is the technical term,—and our men were forced to run to escape being surrounded.


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