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[429] we were passing through one of the streets, crash came a shell through a building a few feet in front, and bursting killed the doctor and one of our company, severely wounding others. Another compliment of the same sort was paid us a few minutes after, and we started double-quick for the battle-field. The Major was soon after wounded, and we took up our position behind a hill as a reserve. During all this time the firing had been terrific; and as we saw regiment after regiment advance over the hill behind which we lay, and some of them come falling back in disorder, not being able to stand the murderous fire of the enemy, our hearts almost failed us. Twice the Eighteenth Massachusetts made a charge upon their works, and twice were driven back, cut almost to pieces. Thus the battle raged until about five o'clock, when we saw a long column of men coming into the fight. Cheer after cheer went up, and they advanced boldly over the hill, and we surely thought that the day would then be ours. The firing then became, if possible, more terrible than before, and to our dismay the troops came falling back; some of them without hats, guns, or anything else. Then the Fifteenth advanced to the second line, and on the plain where the battle had raged. Darkness came on, and the battle ceased. As we filed into line and lay down, we received a volley; but it was too high, and but few were injured. We lay out on picket again that night until one o'clock. I shall long remember those hours. They did seem long, as men wounded and dying called for help when we could not assist them.

At some time during the winter or spring of 1863, Chapin became Orderly Sergeant of his company, of which his cousin, Samuel Fletcher (mentioned above) was then First Lieutenant. During the winter and following spring our army remained in camp near Falmouth, until the battle of Chancellorsville, in which the regiment was again in the reserve. The army remained in the camp opposite Fredericksburg until the enemy, in June, 1863, began their movement north into Maryland, when our forces left their camp, and by long and sultry marches, by way of Dumfries and Fairfax Station, advanced into Maryland, and finally met and conquered the Rebels at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In this battle Chapin received the wounds which eventually proved mortal.

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