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[200] to Pope's army and the battles of Cedar Mountain and Manassas, came the call for nine months volunteers, and Weston was one of the first to respond, enlisting from the town of Lincoln in Company F of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Militia. From the very beginning of the struggle he had been anxious to take an active part in it, and had reluctantly postponed doing so, from time to time, on account of pressing family considerations; but now that the danger to the country seemed so great, he could restrain himself no longer. Just after the bloody battle of Cedar Mountain, in which several of his friends were wounded, and one classmate, Captain Abbott, was killed, Weston said, with impressive earnestness, to an intimate friend who thought that the fatal results of the fight should keep him out of the service, ‘You only strengthen me in my resolution; for Abbott was killed just because I and such as I were not in our places to help him.’

In the latter part of the month of August, 1862, Weston signed the enlistment roll of his company, and with the rest of its members he was mustered into the service of the United States on the 12th of September following. From this time he shared the fortunes of his company, in North Carolina, marching and fighting with it on the Tarborough expedition of November, and in the Goldsborough expedition of the month after.

Very early in his experience as a soldier Weston found out —what his friends had feared from the time of his enlistment —that his physical strength was quite inadequate to the exposures of military life. On the first expedition towards Tarborough, and just before the retreat, he became utterly prostrated by a violent attack of camp diarrhea, and at Hamilton he was ordered by the surgeon to leave his regiment, and take passage down the Roanoke, for Newbern, in a gunboat. I can recall with perfect distinctness his appearance and manner, and the very tone of his voice, his eyes burning, yet full of tears, as he told me what the orders were which he had received from Dr. Ware. Several of his companions said that they had rarely been so much touched as by the sight of Weston's grief and mortification at his separation from his company.

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