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[245] one thought of serving his country, and nothing prevented him from enlisting at this time but the dissuasions of his mother. He returned to Burlington in July, 1861, and remained there till the autumn of 1862; but not a letter was written during this time that did not show his ardor unabated, his earnest longing to engage in the struggle for the rights and liberties dearest to his heart. Such enthusiastic zeal could only be restrained for a time; the day came when he could be kept back no longer, and he wrote home that he had decided to go, adding: ‘I am doing what for a long time I have thought my duty,—the thing which first of all you would wish me to do. I know, my dear mother, you would not have me stay here longer when I feel it unmanly so to do.’ In October, 1862, he enlisted as a private in the Sixth Iowa Cavalry; within a month he was appointed Sergeant-Major and within three months, Second Lieutenant.

He went into camp at Davenport, Iowa, in October, and was there during the winter, active and cheerful. Writing to a dear friend about his work, he says: ‘I glory in it daily. I feel at last I am doing a man's work in the world. Nothing could tempt me to leave it.’ The same friend tells how he would always go with his men when they had any hard, disagreeable duty to perform,—even if it were not necessary for him to be there,—for he wished them to feel that where they must be, there he was ready to be.

The duty assigned to his regiment was that of guarding our broken frontier against the hostile Sioux of Minnesota and Dacotah. He had expected and hoped to be sent to Tennessee, as will be seen by the following letter.

camp Hendershott, March, 1863.

We have finally received marching orders; and where do you think we are going? To the frontier!!! An effort is being made to have the order changed, which may succeed, and which, I trust, will. We all want to go South. I want to get at the Rebels; that's what I enlisted for; but we are servants of the United States now, and must obey orders.


The order was not changed, and the next letter is dated

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