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[7] reviewing the regiments. The day on which he came to our division was the one to which, on account of illness and headache, I marked with a particularly wide and heavy black mark. On this account I could not rouse up sufficiently to go twenty rods to see him, though ordinarily I would go to a much greater distance, for I believe in him most thoroughly as the man for this most trying hour in our country's history.

August 3.

It is absolutely impossible to get a leave of absence at the present time, from the fact that at the time of the retreat so many officers deserted their posts and went home without leave of absence. Much as I love my home, and earnestly as I desire to visit it, I will not return to it until I can do so without causing disgrace to my home and friends.

September 1.

My health and strength permitting, I hope soon to write to you, far beyond Centreville, the account of our great victory there, which God grant to our arms! I feel rather despondent at times. I am not at all well, and not nearly so strong as I was three months since, and sometimes I feel as if I must lie down, and give up trying to do anything but be sick for a short time; but I “spunk up,” and have thus far held out, though no one can say how much longer I shall be able to do so. I usually keep in good spirits, however, and hope for the best; and, sick or well, can always enjoy a letter from home, and am always thinking of the dear hearts there who love me so much, and whom I hold so dear.

September 4.

On board the Atlantic, after leaving Newport News, I made a discovery. I found that Frank Balch, who, you remember, graduated as the first scholar in our Class, had enlisted as a private in the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment. Him sought I out, and conversed about old times. He was very cheerful, and disposed to see only the bright phases of soldier life. But he looked much too feeble to bear the fatigue and exposures of camp life, and I am afraid that he will not endure it for a long time.

His last letter was written on the day before the fatal battle of Antietam, his last on earth, and proves him a true soldier, kind, faithful, appreciating, and enduring to the last. His friend, Lieutenant Newcomb of his company, writes:—

After supper, in the twilight of September 16th, George took my Bible, and, as well as I can recollect, read aloud portions of the

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