His dying moments were occupied with thoughts for her welfare, and her name was the last word upon his lips.
This strong tie made it peculiarly hard for him to go to the war. His mother was a widow, and he her only surviving child.
It was only after a great struggle that he could make up his mind to leave her. He held very strong convictions, and believing that the North
was right beyond question in the contest, was fervent in his wishes for its success.
He felt, as so many young men felt when the war broke out, that he must do something for his country.
He was not moved by the love of glory or adventure, although, being of good constitution, he did not fear hardship.
He Went because it was his duty to go, feeling, as other noble spirits felt, that he should be ashamed to look his friends in the face, or hold up his head anywhere, if he did not do his part
When the war broke out he was in Russia
, having taken this long voyage, in the spring of 186, in the hope of thus doing something for the benefit of his eyes.
merchants, to whom he and his companion had letters, received their accounts of the state of things in the United States
through the most hostile English sources; and what he heard from them, of course, filled him with alarm and dismay.
He hastened home, and after a very short time spent in learning the rudiments of military drill, accepted the position of First Lieutenant
in Company G of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment, to which post he was recommended by Colonel Devens
, who then commanded the regiment in the field.
His recommendation was not sought by him, or by any friend of his for him, but was the result of Colonel Devens
's personal knowledge of his qualities.
‘His original appointment,’ says his brother-in-law,
had not been approved by his men or the other officers of the regiment; they thinking that the vacancies should have been filled from among those who had gone through the dangers of Ball's Bluff; and if anything in him had made it possible, he would have encountered serious discomfort, if not hostility.
But all this feeling soon yielded to his friendly and courteous manners and his thorough and conscientious