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By William A. Canfield

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I do not think there was one in our company who would have seen any harm come to me if they could have prevented it. Then, when occasion required, I could reprove sin without being reproached and made to understand it was none of my business. Our time was mostly occupied in drilling, until the 24th of August, when we were mustered into the United States’ service. On the 29th, we struck tents early in the morning and marched to the depot, where we took the cars for the seat of war. It was a sad time with us that morning, as one after another bid farewell to loved ones.

I was the youngest of six children. Our parents were poor in this world’s goods, but rich in faith and in the knowledge of God as it is in Christ Jesus. My early instructions were limited to a common school, and I was deprived of this at the age of twelve years. Had I improved even these few years, I might have been much farther advanced than I now find myself. As it is, I have to regret many misspent opportunities of my childhood. My parents, as I have said before, were rich in faith, and it was first in their thoughts to instill into the hearts of their children principles of wisdom, virtue and love.

Forming on the line of battle near the Weldon railroad, we went in on a charge, and fought more or less all night. On the morning of the 17th, we charged all along the line, drove the enemy back, took several pieces of artillery, and more or less prisoners. Advanced about one mile on the 18th, and during the night threw up earth works in an old oat field near a peach orchard. On the 19th, we dug our pit eight feet wide and three deep, throwing all the earth in front. Hard fighting on the left. On the 20th, hard fighting all along the line.

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