owned, in Southington, Connecticut. He had also been married for a few years (since September 18, 1856), to Henrietta Harris, of Brooklyn, New York, but they had no children. The second year of the war had arrived, when, quite to the surprise of his friends, on the 2d of August, 1862, he enlisted as a private in the Twentieth Connecticut Infantry, Colonel Ross. The regiment was encamped for about three weeks at New Haven, where he was detailed as clerk to his captain, sharing his tent. To this duty, after the regiment had reached Virginia, was added that of attendance in regimental hospital. He wrote after some months' absence:—
I never go on drill or review or parade with the rest. It is understood that I have different and separate duties,—the captain's and company's business generally, and the care of the wounded and sick, so I have to submit and give up “sojering.” I should like to have learned military tactics, drill, discipline, and the use of arms; but I resign myself to what seems a higher duty.His remarkable combination of faculties, large and small, came rapidly into play. Among his domestic aptitudes, for instance, was a decided culinary talent, and so he superintended the cook-tent. He had picked up a good deal of medical knowledge, and so could be, in case of need, hospital steward or assistant surgeon. Rev. William Henry Channing, who saw him amidst these duties, thus defines his other functions, so far as they were definable:—
In the absence of a chaplain, he became the sympathizing friend, the comforter and teacher; writing letters, receiving last messages of affection, transmitting moneys, and gradually fulfilling the varied functions of confidant, guardian, father, confessor, peacemaker, common friend. Then his fine social gifts of genial sympathy, cheerful good spirits, entertaining gossip, exhaustless anecdote, and love of music came in play to make his tent the centre and focus of brotherly kindness and good fellowship. And finally, when, at the time of a grand movement of the army, it became necessary to transfer the sick from the camps to hospitals in Washington, he was put in charge of these scores or hundreds of helpless men, and with unflagging energy discharged this duty till all were comfortably distributed and cared for or sent home.