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[102] occasion to be severe; but his men knew perfectly well that he never hesitated to be severe if the occasion called for it. He compelled his men to exercise the most scrupulous cleanliness, not only in their arms, equipments, and uniforms, but in their persons. He was careful of their health in every way. He never grew careless about routine matters, as so many able officers do. He was always prompt at his roll-calls, regular and thorough in his inspections. The rifles of his men were kept in a condition that would appear incredible in description. His early regard to the performance of the duties of sentinels never left him. In his last camp, near Brandy Station, when the third year of the war was nearing its end, he was as attentive to this matter as if his men had everything to learn. It was his daily habit closely to supervise the inspection of his camp guard, and to catechize the whole guard in their duties before they marched on.

His strict discipline, his perfect familiarity with his duties, and his conspicuous gallantry, made his men respect and prize him. His readiness to share all their privations and exposures and fatigues, his watchful care over them, his gentleness and cheeriness as he moved among them when off duty, his sympathetic letters to the families of those who suffered, filled them with the truest and best affection that soldiers can feel for their officers. He never gave his men any unnecessary work, never worried them in any way. He was never nervous, never gloomy, and never permitted any gloomy talk within his hearing. His men ‘thought everything of him,’ and well they might. The hardships of a soldier's life are almost immeasurably lightened to those who serve under such an officer. An army officered by such men would be irresistible. What bound can we set to our regret and mourning for such a man?

Major Abbott's character was one of singular maturity and completeness. He was as free from petty vices as he was conspicuous for capacity and fearlessness. The forced inaction and monotony of winter quarters or hot summer camps never tempted him to dissipation in any form. He did everything in his power to put a stop to profanity and card-playing among

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Henry Livermore Abbott (1)
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