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[85] I would sorrowfully repent of it if I could only remember it. It may be that occasionally I did not sufficiently allow for the irritable sensitiveness of men whose anticipations had been so suddenly and disastrously checked. The sensitiveness put its own somber interpretation upon words which were never meant to offend. For example, one of the chaplains, a clergyman of my own faith, asked me if I could lend him a volume of Hamilton's Logic. The next day I carried it to him, and presented it to him with the remark that it required brains to master Hamilton's Philosophy. He published afterward in a northern paper that Dr. B. had insulted him by intimating that he (the chaplain) had not brains enough to comprehend Hamilton's Philosophy. He did not tell his readers, however, that he had accepted the volume, though tendered with so rude an insult. It was simply an irrascible interpretation of what, in another mood, he would have accepted as a compliment.

Among the Manassas prisoners were ten field officers. One of these was the notorious Michael Corcoran, Colonel of the Sixty-ninth New York regiment. He had been, as far as his known biography reports, proprietor of a drinking saloon in the Bowery of New York city, and was quite prominent among the political manipulators of the Tweed school. He aided in enlisting a regiment of New York roughs, of which he was elected Colonel. He led his regiment to the field of Manassas, and thence led or followed many of his boys in a forced march ‘on to Richmond.’ Walking through the prison one day, in company with a gentlemanly Federal officer, he asked me if I would be introduced to Colonel Corcoran. ‘Where is he?’ I asked. He pointed out a rough, coarse-looking man in his shirt sleeves, sitting in a corner, with a crowd of cronies around him playing cards on the head of a barrel, accompanying the shuffle of the cards with boisterous oaths and coarse jests. ‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘I will not interrupt the gentlemen in their sports.’ I never was introduced to him, and never, that I can call to memory, interchanged a word with him.

Soon after the war I visited some of my kinfolks in Albany, New York, and from some of my old friends met a rather cool reception. I soon found out that the reason for the cold shoulder was a communication to an interviewer, made by the redoubtable Colonel, and published in one of the daily papers, setting forth, among other instances of his sagacity and valor, that an impertinent minister, named Burrows, had preached a discourse in Libby prison, in which he fiercely abused the prisoners for invading the sacred soil of Virginia, and intimating


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