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[269]

On the evening of the 28th of October, 1863, the regiment, wearied with the fatigues and hardships of a long passage, reached Brown's Ferry, in the vicinity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and encamped with the hope of an unbroken night's rest. It was soon discovered, however, that the Rebels had obtained possession of a hill near Lookout Mountain, which commanded the road and the railway. It was necessary that they should be dislodged. They were evidently in force and carefully intrenched. To assail them was a work of peril, but at all hazards it must be done; and the wearied troops were called out at midnight. In the bright moonlight the assaulting column was formed; the Thirty-third Massachusetts and Seventy-third Ohio in the advance, the One Hundred and Thirty-sixth New York and Fifty-fifth Ohio as a support. At the word of command they moved forward with a cheer. As they climbed up the steep ascent, that full October moon made them but too plain marks for hostile fire; but they pressed on till the routed enemy was driven in confusion. Colonel Underwood wrote, that the Massachusetts Thirty-third on that night won the applause of the veteran Army of the Cumberland.

When the brief struggle was over, along the slope of that steep hillside were strewn the wounded, the dying, the dead. Two thirds the way up the ascent, falling in the second charge while cheering on his men, the body of Lieutenant Burrage lay peacefully in the soft white moonlight. He fell in his early prime, scarce twenty-one years of age, struck by a ball which pierced his heart.

Lieutenant Burrage had great simplicity of character. He was thoroughly honest, and transparent as crystal. There was a great charm in his naturalness and guilelessness, his unaffected modesty and truthfulness. He had also great kindness of heart. No one was readier than he to do a favor, and to do it without seeming to impose an obligation. He was remarkably pure-minded. He came from college with his heart unstained, and he maintained the same character to the end.


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