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they got hold of some of the crookedest sticks to make straight military men of that the country-or, rather, countries--produced. Not the least among the obstacles in the way of making good soldiers of them was the fact that the recruits of 1864-5, in particular, included many who could neither speak nor understand a word of English. In referring to the disastrous battle of Reams Station, not long since, the late General Hancock told me that the Twentieth Massachusetts Regiment had receivedat they could not help — by being subjected to the knapsack drill, of which I have already spoken. It was a prudential circumstance that the war came to an end when it did, for the quality of the material that was sent to the army in 1864 and 1865 was for the most part of no credit or value to any arm of the service. The period of enlistments from promptings of patriotism had gone by, and the man who entered the army solely from mercenary motives was of little or no assistance to that army
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