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The regiment he was to join was the Seventieth New York, or first regiment of the Excelsior Brigade, attached to Hooker's division, then on the Maryland side of the Lower Potomac, and under the command of Colonel William Dwight of Boston. Leaving Boston, December 23, 1861, he awaited his colonel at the camp of his brother's regiment,—the Third Excelsior, —upon whose arrival he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of Company C, January 2, 1862. He writes:—

I supposed I should have to be Acting Lieutenant for a while, but the Colonel said he wanted to put some energy into this company, and so I am regularly installed. My company is composed of stalwart Michiganders, recruited in Paw Paw, Michigan,—large, fine fellows, full of fight, the left flank company, and the best target company in the regiment.

Then follows the busy winter, of which he wrote:—

I have felt here, as I have in other places, that no part of my experience will be worthless; and especially, I think, the study which is part of an officer's duties will be such discipline, that instead of breaking up my habits of reading and study, the war will confirm and systematize them. I think the course of military study will tend to make me a careful student of law.

Thoughts of his student and home life continually attended him. He writes:—

I like to sit here, or lie awake, thinking when you get certain of my letters, and where you all read them, and I often forget the abominations of this mud-hole in thinking of home.

The simple strength of his character appears in his immediate power of command. His Colonel's testimony is:—

He was youthful in appearance, even for his years, and without experience in the world, but his character was formed on the best and firmest principles. The dignity with which he bore himself to both officers and soldiers soon won him respect, while his clear intellect and intuitive sense of justice kept him free from mistakes.

So his humorous account of the ‘panic with which I first stood behind my platoon,’ is followed soon by ‘I think I have control aver my men now. I see I can do good here. They ’

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