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[287] three months after leaving the State, in August, 1861, his regiment lay at Poolesville, on the Upper Potomac, occupied in the work of making a thoroughly disciplined force out of raw material. This was the only time the regiment ever had for instruction, but that time was well used, and it afterwards found itself in a condition of proficiency that was never lost. It was frequently selected for exhibition by its corps commander. Hodges kept his place throughout this period as one of the assistants detailed for instruction. The winters of 1861 and 1862 were spent in hard work on picket and fatigue duty, guarding twelve miles of the Potomac and building forts. The regiment formed part of the force in the battle of Ball's Bluff, but was not engaged. It joined the Army of the Potomac at Fortress Monroe, early in the spring of 1862, participating in the siege of Yorktown and the battle of West Point. At this time Hodges had become very much reduced by sickness, and was sent to Baltimore to recruit. His ardor would not allow him to remain long away from his post. Though entirely unfit for duty, he went back to Fortress Monroe. Thence he was misdirected to Newport News, where he could find no transportation, nor even join any military force on its way to the army. But being resolute to join his regiment in time for any new ordeal of battle, he set off on foot. His tramp through woods and swamps, excited and enfeebled as he was, pulled him down the second time. When, from sheer exhaustion, he finally gave up the effort to find his regiment, he had abandoned everything, even his overcoat, except his letters only, a large bundle of which had been intrusted to him by anxious friends. These he kept and had the pleasure of delivering, after a second more successful attempt.

His health being already impaired, the new sources of disease in the Chickahominy swamps proved too much for his strength. He became completely prostrated by fever and dysentery, and reached so low a point as to make his comrades fearful of his death. He was compelled reluctantly to resign, the surgeons pronouncing him incurably disabled. Incessant watchfulness one moonlight night, followed by a wearisome

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