I do not now remember) of the citizens would do the same.
The number was obtained; but the small-sized patriot, who was willing to sacrifice his wife's
relations on the altar of his country, crawled away amid the sneers of his townsmen.
Sometimes the patriotism of such a gathering would be wrought up so intensely by waving banners, martial and vocal music, and burning eloquence, that a town's quota would be filled in less than an hour.
It needed only the first man to step forward, put down his name, be patted on the back, placed upon the platform, and cheered to the echo as the hero of the hour, when a second, a third, a fourth would follow, and at last a perfect stampede set in to sign the enlistment roll, and a frenzy of enthusiasm would take possession of the meeting.
The complete intoxication of such excitement, like intoxication from liquor, left some of its victims on the following day, especially if the fathers of families, with the sober second thought to wrestle with; but Pride, that tyrannical master, rarely let them turn back.
The next step was a medical examination to determine physical fitness for service.
Each town had its physician for this work.
The candidate for admission into the army must first divest himself of all clothing, and his soundness or unsoundness was then decided by causing him to jump, bend over, kick, receive sundry thumps in the chest and back, and such other laying — on of hands as was thought necessary.
The teeth had also to be examined, and the eyesight tested, after which, if the candidate passed, he received a certificate to that effect.
His next move was toward a recruiting station.
There he would enter, signify his errand, sign the roll of the company or regiment into which he was going, leave his description, including height, complexion, and occupation, and then accompany a guard to the examining surgeon, where he was again subjected to a critical examination as to soundness.