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[52] to excite him very much. He had described hearing the departure of the regiments from Boston, in the middle of the night, two days after; was very much impressed by it, and he said then that, if he had not from boyhood ‘despised soldiering,’—and so did not know the use of a gun,— he should have gone off with some of the three-months men. So he joined two different classes in Boston, for the purpose of drilling, and said that when he knew enough he should go. But he went at last very suddenly, in July, without having time to arrange his business affairs; for Colonel William B. Greene, who had been his friend for several years, came home from Paris to take part in the war, and, finding this recruit ready, made him his Adjutant at once in the Fourteenth Massachusetts.

His letters describe his interview with Colonel Greene, and his enlistment.

Fort Warren, July 26, 1861.

Then the first day I saw him,--the day he landed,—I told him I would go into the service myself, under him. Two days after he sent to me to know if I ‘was serious’ in what I had said. And the result was that he took me, green as I was; and says, after four weeks trial, that he does not repent of his choice, and that he thought he could make a soldier of me then, and is sure of it now. So I am entirely satisfied. And if I should come to grief, be assured it will be with a light conscience; for I have no one dependent upon me, and have not been troubled with any conflict of duties.


In the same letter he thus speaks of the soldiers:--

“Our regiment,” the Fourteenth Massachusetts, or “Essex,” has as good material as ever marched out of the old Commonwealth. All from Essex County. Stalwart, sober men, all of them. Whether we succeed in drilling them to form squares, direct and oblique, or not, during the short ten days we have left, I will warrant every company of them to make face against cavalry, even in line, before turning their backs and taking to the woods. If they allow themselves to be “cut up,” without killing man for man, call me no prophet.

The change in his mode of life seemed to transform his whole nature. This shy, contemplative, lonely, middle-aged

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