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[120] as he conscientiously could, the patriotic impulse to follow them into the field. The critical condition of the national cause in the summer of 1862 convinced him that it was his duty to abandon, for a time at least, and perhaps forever, his long-cherished hopes and plans, and give himself to his country, where the services of her loyal young men were then most needed. As soon as his resolution was known to his classmates and friends in the Second Massachusetts Infantry, to which one of his brothers already belonged, they sought, with success, to obtain him for a comrade. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant, August 14, 1862, and joined the regiment soon after the battle of Cedar Mountain. Just before leaving home he made a few unstudied remarks at a ‘recruiting meeting’ in Dorchester. One of his sentences is worthy of repetition, as indicating his own feelings and motives. Saying that the hour of mere enthusiasm had passed, and that the hour for obedience to principle and for action had come, he closed his modest little speech with these words: ‘Hereafter, if our lives are spared, should our children's children ask what we did for our country in this its great crisis, a blush such as never should be seen on an old man's face would come upon our faces if we were obliged to answer,—--Nothing.’

His military career lasted only eleven months, but it was crowded with dangers and hardships. At the outset his whole strength was taxed in the march, full of privation, when Banks's division was cut off from the main army. His endurance while marching, entirely on foot and without the partial relief from riding which others were obliged occasionally to seek, during those terrible weeks, was a proof of his physical vigor, until then undiminished. His first battle was that of Antietam. After that conflict the Second Massachusetts was encamped on Maryland Heights. Here, having had no chance to become gradually acclimated, he was attacked with a slow malarious fever. This sickness took him from active duty for a few weeks, most of which he spent as a convalescent at Frederick. He returned to his post

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