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That ride upon the violent speed of fire.
And your speaker is fully warranted in rendering this tardy justice, as he cannot claim to have fully participated in the special exposures which you encountered. To prove the devotion and the heroism of the surgeon and his youthful assistants, we would briefly recall some scenes which occurred at Petersburg, Va., near the close of that period when the beleaguered town was being shut in by a cordon of earthworks, crowned with batteries belching forth their bolted thunders,—the lines of the enemy were being pressed in closer and closer, the fire of every species of armament was converging upon that devoted centre, and the roar of cannon and the detonation of small arms ‘would deafen you to hear.’ So incessant was the cannonading from some quarter of the heavens, and so great the roar of artillery, that it seemed to the doomed city that a battle was almost constantly in progress. The surgeons and assistant surgeons, the generals and the officers lived with their men in the open fields, in trenches swept by the fire of the enemy, literally in ditches and holes burrowed in the earth, half filled with water—from which they were sometimes in the rainy season driven out like rats. Half starved, upon the coarsest food, in cold and storm and rain, exposed to every hazard—these, our brethren of the medical department, quailed not; they patiently submitted to every hardship, often with systems shattered by privation and ill-health, whilst they performed services which required skill, care and serene courage. No extended reference can be made here to privations endured in
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