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Miles, Nelson Appleton, 1839-1925 / Personal recollections and observations of General Nelson A. Miles embracing a brief view of the Civil War, or, From New England to the Golden Gate: and the story of his Indian campaigns, with comments on the exploration, development and progress of our great western empire

Chapter II. The Great Civil War,   pp. 25-37 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 31

'iegifIC1)t of Massachusetts Volunteers, organized and first commanded
by Colonel Henry Wilson, afterward Vice-President of the United States.
Before leaving for Washington, in September 1861, the regiment was
,alade(l nE Boston Commi-on and presented with a flag at the hands of
lloil. Il~oert Winthrop, at that time the oldest living Ex-Speaker of the
I ouise of klepresentatives, and lately deceased. In receiving the flag Colonel
Vilsson acknowledged the gift by an eloquent speech which created the
grieatest enthusiasm, closing with these words:
    wAee hope that when this contest shall close, the unity of the republic
wxill be assured
aid1(i the earuse of republican institutions in America established evermore.
We go forth,
Sir. in tait sl-)irit to do our duty, cheered with the confidence and approbation
of our friends
il MaIs;sahsetts. And may God in his providence grant that by no act of ours
we shall
lose that (cotfidele(e and approbation."
   After serving for a short time with the regiment I was detailed for staff
(Ility as aicle-de-camnp, and afterward as assistant adjutant-general of
br-ig(ade. On the 81st of May, 1S62, on the recommendation of that dis-
tingultished soldier, General Yrancis U. -iarlow, I
a.-)p)ointed tieuteiiant-colonel of his regiment, the S
first New York Volunteers. by Governor E. D. Mo:
an~d On September 80, of the same year, was
iniissiolne(l 1)y Governor Morgan to the colonelcy c
samtte regi myert, to fill the vacancy caused by
l)Ioltlotioln of Colonel Barlow to the rank of briga
geneir-al. On the 12th of May, 1564, I was pron
to )r1i ga1dier-general; on the 25th of August
the saine year I received the brevet of major-
Z7)geiieral, aund was promoted to the rank of major-
enlelall of volunteers the following year.
   Amiiong the incidents of my early service in
t lie (armily which impressed themselves indeli-
bly yl)on mlally memory, were those attending the
I)Lt'ZLH1IZattfl0] or tue Armny ot tue I-otomac under
(X~lVIiert  George B. McClellan; the crossing of
the  a   hppahannock; the return to Alexandria;
tHie emba1trlkation in transports and debarkation               Z
aLt j ort AMlonroe; the advance up the Peninsula ,
"ntil fac(;e to face with the enemy under General Magruder in his line
fortifiCatioLs near Yorktown, Virginia, stretching from the James to the
\j Tl velr. I remember that this movement occasioned the comment

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