I have asked myself if the cause demanded this of me. I admit that it does of many young men, but does it of me, situated as I am, about to commence a course of theological study?
I have patriotism enough to lead me to make any sacrifice of time, substance, life itself, for my beloved country.
I wish to go to the relief of my fellow-citizens, almost worn out with their severe campaign.
It seems ignoble for me to remain here at home, resting in inglorious ease, while many better men than I am, or can ever hope to be, are bravely defending my country's rights and honor.
Shall I be any the less doing right, by becoming a soldier and helping to fight my country's battles, than are those thousands of clergymen and good men of the North, who are doing all they can to induce young men to enlist?
He wrote in his journal at this time:—
It is not congenial to my tastes to go to war, but it seems now as though all who love their country ought to be willing to take up arms in its defence. . . . . I hope I shall be faithful in the performance of my duty when on the battle-field.
On the 31st of July, 1862, he enlisted as a private in Company F of the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, and was mustered into the United States
service on the 13th of August following, passing his time, meanwhile, in hurried farewell visits to friends in Maine
and New Hampshire
On reporting at Camp Cameron, being then disabled by a painful sore upon his right hand, he received a furlough, which was afterwards extended till the departure of the regiment; and he was thus enabled to take part in the many war meetings in Cambridge
and vicinity, and his stirring appeals were eloquent, because heartfelt.
When the regiment reached Camp Belger, near Baltimore
, the need of a chaplain was severely felt, and some concerted action was taken, but to no effect, except to draw out and bind more closely together a band who thenceforward constituted the ‘church’ of the regiment.
Services were held every Sunday morning by the Colonel
, and in the afternoon by a private soldier.
Other meetings were instituted, and continued till the regiment was so depleted in numbers, by sickness and death, that but a very few of the original attendants