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[151] talked with very many officers associated with him through long periods of hardship on the march, and through hours of deadly peril on many a stricken field, and they all have one phrase upon their lips,—‘He was born a soldier.’ Others have fitted themselves for one and another position in military life by labor and pains, but he fell into its ways and met its requirements by a natural aptitude. And as some soldiers shine most in the daily routine of camp life, but the thorough and natural soldier is most tried and most proved in the midst of hardship and danger, so it was amid hunger, cold, and fatigue, and under a deadly fire, that Colonel Mudge's comrades report all the military temper of the man to have stood forth in its fulness. He was never overcome by any assault upon his physical powers. He revelled in his capacity to endure. His spirits rose as he was called upon to undergo toil and suffering. To courage he united caution and foresight, all the more remarkable in one bold enough to have been tempted to recklessness. He was wonderfully ready in resource; he saw with an instinctive eye precisely what each emergency required; and he acted with instantaneous decision. Not one second of valuable time was ever lost by a doubt or a blunder. Upon the very instant when action was demanded, he knew what was to be done and how to do it. If the story of the manoeuvring and fighting at Gettysburg had been the only event in his military career, it alone would have won him a reputation far beyond the ordinary, and would have proved the truth of these statements. The steadfast attachment and strong love of the man—which his family and friends know to have been very deep, constant, and influential, probably far beyond any degree that I can express here—was shown by the manner in which he stood by the regiment of his first choice until the day of his death. Dear friends of old college days left him there; very few, indeed, of the officers with whom he had set forth were still around him in his last campaign; many had been killed, but many also had left the regiment to accept higher positions elsewhere,

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Charles Redington Mudge (1)
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