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[426] of “Uncle Sam,” as a private in Company H, Fifteenth Massachusetts Regiment. After bidding good by to the dear ones at home, Ira Parkis, Henry Ainsworth, and I came up to. Worcester and were sworn into the service of the United States.

In this same company were three cousins of Chapin's, from Whitinsville,—Samuel, James, and George Fletcher, three brothers, who are several times mentioned in this sketch in the extracts from Chapin's diary and letters. On the 13th of August the recruits left Camp Cameron in Cambridge, to join their respective regiments in the field. On the 14th they arrived in New York, and on the 15th were embarked on board the steamship Catawba for Fortress Monroe, where they arrived next day.

Here the news came that McClellan had evacuated Harrison's Landing. Accordingly the recruits remained at Camp Hamilton, near the fort, till the 24th, when they marched to Newport News, where the recruits for the Fifteenth joined that regiment, and were distributed into their respective companies. On the 23d the regiment was embarked on board the transport Mississippi, and it arrived at Alexandria on the 28th. Soon afterwards the recruits received their arms and equipments, and the Fifteenth Regiment marched to the neighborhood of Fairfax.

The Rebels were now advancing with a strong force into Maryland, and our army was ordered into that State to meet them. The Fifteenth Massachusetts crossed the Potomac by the Chain Bridge, and, by rapid marches, arrived in time to take part in the battle of Antietam. Chapin gives in his diary, under date of September 17, his experience in that battle.

We were called at half past 2, A. M., and ordered to be ready to move at daybreak; but it was seven o'clock before we left camp. We forded the Antietam Creek, and crossed the fields in the direction of the enemy. Our artillery kept up a continual firing from the opposite side of the creek, and were replied to by the enemy. We halted beside a fence, and by the left flank and over was the work of a minute. At this place the Rebels threw some shells among our generals; one of the recruits, Shoules, was killed instantly.

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