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 He often had attacks of fever, and could no longer take the vigorous exercise of which, especially in the saddle, he was very fond. When duty called he was careless, or rather utterly neglectful, of his own health. The seeds of the disease which finally overcame him were taking root. In the spring of 1863 a small redoubt on the side of the Neuse, opposite Newbern, garrisoned by some hundred men, was attacked by an overwhelming force of the Rebels, who poured upon it a whirlwind of grape and canister, literally tearing to shreds the canvas of the tents and riddling the barracks. Lieutenant Barstow was then signal officer of this outpost; and while all others were crouching behind the works, shielding themselves from the force of the tempest, it was his duty to signal by his flags to the main forces on the other side of the river. The coolness and bravery with which he performed this difficult undertaking won him great praise. With the exception of two or three short visits at home, he continued in and near Newbern until that fatal disease, which had already taken strong hold on his constitution, finally overcame him. As the duties of a signal officer were now more severe than he was able to perform, he resigned that position, and was appointed Assistant Commissary of Musters. At about the same time he was commissioned First Lieutenant. Higher rank he might have attained by returning to his regiment; but he felt himself better suited for staff duty, and preferred serving where he could be of most use, even at a sacrifice of rank. At one time he was detailed at Little Washington, first as Judge-Advocate, afterwards as Assistant Engineer. ‘I am at present,’ he writes, May 15, 1863, ‘putting up two earthworks, one to mount a hundred-pounder Parrott and three long thirty-twos, and the other a tete-de-pont on the redan principle. It makes one brush up the mathematics.’ He became attached to North Carolina, and, although offered positions at other places, continued at Newbern, fated soon to become a city of the dead under the terrible scourge of the yellow fever. Although this disease was not recognized at the time of his death, his weakened constitution rendered him an
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