Private Twentieth Connecticut Vols. (Infantry), August 2, 1862; died at Washington, D. C., November 10, 1863, of disease contracted in the service.
In portraying most of the younger men whose memoirs are contained in this volume, one is naturally led to compare them with what they would, perhaps, have been in times of peace. But in writing of the men of middle age, one compares them with what they previously were. To some the war only supplied a new direction for powers already developed and mature. To some, on the other hand, it brought a complete transformation; or if not quite that, yet a consummation so rapid and perfect as to seem like transformation, giving roundness and completeness to lives previously erratic or fragmentary. Of this there was no more striking instance than in the case of James Richardson. ‘A prophet is never called of God until the age of forty,’ says the Arab proverb. James Richardson had all his life been loved and blamed, criticised and idolized, without ever finding his precise or proper working-place on earth. When at forty-five he left his preaching and his farm, to enlist as a private soldier, then his true and triumphant Christian ministry began, and he continued in it till his death. I remember watching his college eccentricities when I was a boy in Cambridge, and was largely occupied, like most Cambridge boys, in studying human nature as exhibited among the undergraduates. Long after, I was associated with him in post-graduate studies at the same university, where he lingered long; and I have known him ever since. And any acquaintance with him came near to intimacy, because of his open and eager nature and his warmth of heart. James Richardson was born in Dedham, Massachusetts, May 25, 1817. His mother's maiden name was Sarah Elizabeth