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[326] to officer a national police-gang. But if this war continues, or a war with France arises, I think I shall go into the black cavalry (a large force of colored cavalry will probably be raised before long); and indeed I know not if I could find a worthier object than helping the race we have degraded to achieve their independence, and bearing my part in expiating our national dishonor.


Goodwin afterwards obtained a leave of absence, and reached home Thanksgiving eve. He was with us about ten days. We found the somewhat slight physique which he had a year before changed into a robust and almost powerful form, full of the elasticity and freshness of perfect health and vigor. His character had ripened, also. The light-heartedness of youth seemed to be giving place to the serious, responsible air of manhood, yet his manner was as gentle and affectionate as ever. He said but little about his experiences in the army, and was so free from parade that we never saw him in uniform at home, nor heard him speak of any achievement or success in his career. When he left us to return to camp we could hardly make ourselves anxious about him, he looked so strong in every way.

Soon after his return he received a commission as Captain, and at his own earnest request exchanged his position on Colonel Lowell's staff for the more active duties of a company commander. He writes:—

I have got a splendid company,—eighty or ninety as fine troopers as ever mounted a horse,—Troop L, raised in California. I only hope I can keep it. I wish Colonel Lowell would be ordered to take the regiment to the front. General Tyler invited me to join his staff, but I had rather be in command of this company than serve on the staff of the Commander-in-Chief. . . . .

I find that the accounts and papers of a company are much more important and complicated than is generally supposed. There must be a great deal of neglect among officers in this respect. My papers were, thanks to Captain Adams, all straight . . . . . You ought to see my company kitchen, as neat and clean as possible; plenty to eat, nicely cooked. There is a good deal of pleasure in taking care of your men, so much can be done for their health and comfort that is commonly neglected.

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