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George H. Gordon (search for this): chapter 15
ter the failure of the grandest experiment of a free government that the world has known? Utter discouragement and dejection would fall upon the friends of freedom everywhere, should the North now yield to the entreaties of those who say, Do not persist in this war, for you will be only shedding blood to no purpose. In accordance with these principles, Mr. Sedgwick forsook his profession, and was commissioned (May 25, 1861) as First Lieutenant in the Second Massachusetts Volunteers (Colonel Gordon). He went into service with the regiment, was detailed as ordnance officer of Major-General Banks's corps, and was soon transferred to the staff of Major-General Sedgwick, his kinsman, with the rank of Major. All through his period of service he wrote constantly to his family; and the following extracts will show his habits of mind, and the spirit in which he served his country. St. Louis, Missouri, April 18, 1861. The excitement increases here daily. I do not expect any out
ppened to us within the last three days; a hundred shell have exploded, or have passed screeching by without exploding, over ground covered with troops, wagons, and horses; result, one or two horses wounded, and a few darkies and camp-followers (perhaps a few soldiers) badly scared. . . . . General Howard, who lost his arm on Sunday, is a very interesting man,—scarcely older than I am,—and the only army officer I have met who could properly be designated by the appellation of a consistent Christian ; brave as the bravest, honestly and unaffectedly believing that his life is in God's hands, and that it is, to speak more expressively than elegantly, none of his business whether he lives or dies, provided he is doing his duty. Army officers who swear as habitually as Howard prays speak of him with great affection and esteem. These few extracts from his letters can only serve to show what he was as a patriot, how clear and sound and good his judgment, and how well, even in the begin
William Sedgwick (search for this): chapter 15
aunt, Miss C. M. Sedgwick, added to the family circle, brought among the many guests a large number of distinguished and superior people into the house; and William Sedgwick enjoyed the opportunity, rare for a boy and young man, of seeing, in a perfectly unconstrained way, the best society, and of acquiring early that ease and queld to the entreaties of those who say, Do not persist in this war, for you will be only shedding blood to no purpose. In accordance with these principles, Mr. Sedgwick forsook his profession, and was commissioned (May 25, 1861) as First Lieutenant in the Second Massachusetts Volunteers (Colonel Gordon). He went into service with the regiment, was detailed as ordnance officer of Major-General Banks's corps, and was soon transferred to the staff of Major-General Sedgwick, his kinsman, with the rank of Major. All through his period of service he wrote constantly to his family; and the following extracts will show his habits of mind, and the spirit in wh
to the country's cause; and I hardly feel as if I should regret it. . . . . I am delighted, dear mother, that you do not allow yourself to feel unnecessarily anxious about me. I shall do my duty, but I shall not commit any folly of bravado, and shall survive this war unless Heaven wills otherwise; in which case we shall all be ready cheerfully to submit ourselves. Headquarters, &c., Fair Oaks, June 11, 1862. dearest mother,—I had your sweet letter, written after you had seen Mr. Laflin, day before yesterday. It gave me a lively impression of the far greater anxiety, and consequent suffering, entailed by war upon those at home than upon those who go out to fight. We, as soldiers are, or ought to be, proof against all uneasiness, except in certain trying moments, which come comparatively rarely, and when the occasion passes, the feeling of care passes also; but you at home, expecting constantly news of a battle fought, and having to wait long for certain intelligence of
William Dwight Sedgwick (search for this): chapter 15
1851. William Dwight Sedgwick. First Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), May 25, 1861; Major and A. A. G. U. S. Vols., September 16, 186; died at Keedysville, Md., September 29, 1862, of a wound received at Antietam, September 17. William Dwight Sedgwick was the only son of Charles and Elizabeth (Dwight) Sedgwick, aWilliam Dwight Sedgwick was the only son of Charles and Elizabeth (Dwight) Sedgwick, and was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, June 27, 1831. Till the age of fourteen years he was brought up almost entirely at home, when his father sent him to Illinois to spend a summer with a farmer who was a relative, and who then lived in a log-house. Here he learned and performed every kind of farm-work of which a boy of that age Sedgwick, and was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, June 27, 1831. Till the age of fourteen years he was brought up almost entirely at home, when his father sent him to Illinois to spend a summer with a farmer who was a relative, and who then lived in a log-house. Here he learned and performed every kind of farm-work of which a boy of that age is capable, and confirmed a constitution originally excellent. His father believed that, without some personal knowledge and experience of labor, he could not have a proper sympathy with laboring men. He spend one year at a French school, and one in a boys' school taught by Rev. Samuel P. Parker, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, an
Samuel P. Parker (search for this): chapter 15
home, when his father sent him to Illinois to spend a summer with a farmer who was a relative, and who then lived in a log-house. Here he learned and performed every kind of farm-work of which a boy of that age is capable, and confirmed a constitution originally excellent. His father believed that, without some personal knowledge and experience of labor, he could not have a proper sympathy with laboring men. He spend one year at a French school, and one in a boys' school taught by Rev. Samuel P. Parker, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and finished in Lenox his studies preparatory to admission into college. After leaving college, he spent one winter in a law-office; then went abroad and studied a portion of his profession at Heidelberg, Gottingen, and Breslau. He was abroad about seventeen months. After his return, he entered the Cambrdge Law School, where he remained a year, and then established himself as a lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri. It was his good fortune to grow up, thr
Wilder Dwight (search for this): chapter 15
1851. William Dwight Sedgwick. First Lieutenant 2d Mass. Vols. (Infantry), May 25, 1861; Major and A. A. G. U. S. Vols., September 16, 186; died at Keedysville, Md., September 29, 1862, of a wound received at Antietam, September 17. William Dwight Sedgwick was the only son of Charles and Elizabeth (Dwight) Sedgwick, and was born in Lenox, Massachusetts, June 27, 1831. Till the age of fourteen years he was brought up almost entirely at home, when his father sent him to Illinois to spend a summer with a farmer who was a relative, and who then lived in a log-house. Here he learned and performed every kind of farm-work of which a boy of that age is capable, and confirmed a constitution originally excellent. His father believed that, without some personal knowledge and experience of labor, he could not have a proper sympathy with laboring men. He spend one year at a French school, and one in a boys' school taught by Rev. Samuel P. Parker, in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and
C. M. Sedgwick (search for this): chapter 15
house, became also his second nature. From his mother he inherited the happiest temper, great sweetness and cheerfulness, with great natural courage and firmness combined and from his father the refinement of sentiment, the keen enjoyment of wit and fun, and some portion of that pleasant humor for which his father's conversation is still remembered with delight by those who knew him. The free and extensive hospitality of his parents, and the attraction which the society of his aunt, Miss C. M. Sedgwick, added to the family circle, brought among the many guests a large number of distinguished and superior people into the house; and William Sedgwick enjoyed the opportunity, rare for a boy and young man, of seeing, in a perfectly unconstrained way, the best society, and of acquiring early that ease and quiet self-possession, and the winning manners, which marked him at once as the gentleman wherever he appeared. No wonder that his happy home seemed perfect to him, and his birthplace t
shell have exploded, or have passed screeching by without exploding, over ground covered with troops, wagons, and horses; result, one or two horses wounded, and a few darkies and camp-followers (perhaps a few soldiers) badly scared. . . . . General Howard, who lost his arm on Sunday, is a very interesting man,—scarcely older than I am,—and the only army officer I have met who could properly be designated by the appellation of a consistent Christian ; brave as the bravest, honestly and unaffectedly believing that his life is in God's hands, and that it is, to speak more expressively than elegantly, none of his business whether he lives or dies, provided he is doing his duty. Army officers who swear as habitually as Howard prays speak of him with great affection and esteem. These few extracts from his letters can only serve to show what he was as a patriot, how clear and sound and good his judgment, and how well, even in the beginning of the war, and in some of the darkest times
George Washington (search for this): chapter 15
at there were no free schools, and they could not afford to send their children to any others. I asked if he knew many people about here who could read, and he answered, There a'n't many sure. But I did not need his assurance of the fact; for though the country is not thickly settled, and I only see those who come into town by the one small road we are on, I have certainly given passes to fifty who could not read what I wrote for them; yet this is the sacred soil, sacred to the memory of Washington and one or two other good men, but desecrated by the barbarous influences of this damnable institution. If slavery were to be successful in this contest, I fear I should be driven into an utter abandonment of all my faith in Providence. But if, for our own sins, we have yet a long and hard struggle before us, I am willing to accept it, so that we work our way through the darkness into light at last; and I think I could lay down my life cheerfully, if need be, could I but die in the full
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