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[161] But other counsels prevailed. His intimate friend at this time, Dr. David P. Smith, with whom he had formed a close intimacy abroad, was commissioned as Surgeon in this regiment. Rogers was always a man peculiarly devoted in his friendships. Probably his early orphanage increased his natural warmth of heart; his affection, as it was amiable in form, was also very deep, very clinging, and very faithful. So his friendship for Dr. Smith carried the day against the more cool and prudent advice of others. He counted much, too much, as it unhappily proved, upon hopes of promotion, and thus enlisted as a private in the regiment. At first he was satisfied, cheerful, and hopeful; his soul was in the work; he was Quartermaster-Sergeant, and this was a post of some responsibility; but, as time wore on, the prospect of promotion diminished, and he found that as Quartermaster-Sergeant he was out of the line of advancement. He accordingly abandoned this position and took that of First Sergeant of Company A, and afterwards of Sergeant-Major.

The duties of each place he performed thoroughly and conscientiously. But hope deferred was wearing upon him. It was not that he nourished a greedy ambition; but he yearned for a position in which he could show what he knew was in him, and where, above all other blessings, he might find some congenial companionship. The mind was daily less able to sustain the body in its hardships; and in the terrible retreat of McClellan from the Peninsula, those dread seven days of marching, fighting, exposure and famine found him a patient under the hands of the hospital surgeon. In the turmoil and confusion of that cruel time he was separated in the very height of malarious fever, for twenty-four livelong hours, from his medical attendant. At the close of that time, when the two again met, it was too late to revive the flickering flame of life. But the surgeon tenderly cared for him in his last moments, closed his eyes, decently folded his hands, and buried him in a marked spot, from which so late as January, 1866, his remains were obtained by his friends, brought to Boston, and finally interred in Christian burial.

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