The Forty-fourth Massachusetts was at once ordered to North Carolina
, and remained there during its whole term of service.
During this period Corporal Storrow
wrote constantly to his parents, describing frankly and graphically all chances and mischances.
Finding many discomforts in his place in the ranks, he yet never wavered in his expressions of pleasure at being there.
Thus, after describing the hardships of a forced march (November 26, 1862), he adds:—
‘I can honestly say that there has never been a moment since my enlistment when I would have accepted a discharge from the service, however honestly obtained.
I feel satisfied now with what I have done; and I never could have, had I remained at home.’
Again he writes, December 4, 1862:—
When we parted, I was a free man; now I am not far from a slave, for a soldier comes the nearest to that of anything.
However, it is a voluntary servitude; and, though it may be a little irksome at times, it is one never to be regretted for a single moment.
The more I see of the hardships of this sort of life, the more I think what a coward I should have been to have stayed at home and suffered another man to take my place.
In another letter, written three days after this, he describes very vividly his emotions at the most critical moment of the advance on Kinston
As I saw the glorious stars and stripes of the Tenth Connecticut way ahead, dancing in the sunlight, I felt a sudden thrill shoot through me, a sort of glow in every vein, making me feel that it would be glorious to die, if it were necessary, under that flag.
I suppose every soldier has this feeling; and a splendid one it is,—it makes one ready to do or dare anything.
It is a sort of mental intoxication.
I can appreciate the idolatry of an old soldier for “the old flag” beneath which he has fought, and can understand how easy it would be to protect and uphold it with one's life.