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complished by it ? Not so! not so ! but God shall yet permit us to dwell in a land purified of the foul stain of slavery, and the American nation shall become a regenerate people, loving liberty and working righteousness. How long, O Lord ! how long ere this shall be? Tens of thousands of Christian soldiers on the tented field pray thee to hasten the dawn of that glad day; while lonely wives and mothers and children in our homes echo their prayer, and while the souls of our martyrs in heaven take up the cry of earth, and mingle its prayers with their praise, as they too say, "How long ere thou avenge us and our brethren and fellowwitnesses for Liberty, whose blood calleth from beneath thy altar?'"
Of the convalescent camp at Alexandria he writes:
“On Sunday last, in company with several members of the Sanitary Commission, I visited this large encampment, and accepted an invitation of its commanding officer to hold religious service there. As the camp contains some fifteen thousand men, there was work enough to do without trenching upon the duties of the newly-appointed chaplain of this camp, who, indeed, welcomed me and shared in the services of the occasion. His Honor, Mayor Fay of Chelsea, and his niece, so kind and attentive to the sick soldiery, were also of our number, and several members of the Christian Commission were likewise present, and aided in the singing and by distribution of religious reading. I think I never was present on an occasion more interesting. The singing, in which the soldiers joined heartily, lent it a charm, and, independent of the inadequate words spoken, the fact that such a listening throng of soldiers, all far from home and from so many different States, were assembled, and all eager, all attentive, all apparently longing for some earnest utterance of needed truth, might well have touched every heart-string. Truly it was good to be there.”
The hope of the Chaplain to be able to share the hardships of the campaign with his regiment was disappointed. The diet and exposure at once renewed the violence of his malady, incapacitated him for duty, and sent him to the hospital, to be a hinderance instead of a help. He is reluctantly brought to the conclusion that he must conform to the army surgeon's advice, and relinquish it. He writes home: "You can hardly realize the pain I felt when I found I could not share the field campaign without throwing away health and life. I love the regiment, and believe their feeling toward me to be so cordial that I am very reluctant to sever the tie.”
He was consoled, however, by the prospect of serving his country's cause in a new position. He writes to his family: “ The President of the United States promises me, through Senator Clark, a commission with full powers as chaplain in a hospital or stationary camp. The Surgeon-General gives the same assur
But it is necessary that I should resign my present position before assuming the new. I go to the
* The following is the surgeon's certificate and order:
“ HOSPITAL OF 16 Mass. Vols.,
Warrenton Junc., Va., Nov. 16, 1862. “I do hereby certify that Rev. A. B. Fuller, Chaplain of the 16th Mass. Vols., has been under my care since his return from absence on sick leave, and it is my opinion that his state of health precludes all idea of his remaining in the field. I find that he has Chronic Diarrhea, and that his disease is aggravated by exposure to cold, injudicious diet, or fatigue.
“ It is by my order that the said officer of this regiment remains behind in Alexandria or Washington till such time as competent surgeons pronounce him fit to return to his post.
“C. C. JEWETT, Surg. 16 Mass. Vols.”
camp at Falmouth to-morrow morning, in order to resign. I do this with much regret."
The following is a published account of his leavetaking with his regiment:
“On Sunday, Dec. 7, the regiment was drawn up in a hollow square, at the close of dress-parade, for the purpose of holding religious services and hearing the farewell address of their chaplain. The services were deeply interesting. Rev. Mr. Fuller expressed his great regret in parting with the regiment, whose officers and soldiers he regarded, after so many hardships and perils shared together, as his broth
Nothing but the state of his health, which had suffered greatly from exposure in the field, induced him to leave them. He should not cease his care for the soldiers, but according to his ability should continue to minister to their wants, temporal and spiritual. If the convalescent camp at Alexandria were made a post-chaplaincy he should probably be appointed there, and he sought the place because there was most suffering and most opportunity for usefulness. If it were not, he had nevertheless been assured by the proper authorities of a chaplaincy in a hospital, as soon as he resigned his position in the regiment, and in either place he would find abundant field for labor and usefulness. He closed with a fervent prayer for the blessing of Heaven upon our noble chief magistrate, our country, its brave, loyal army, and the gallant and heroic regiment with whom he had seen so much peril and exposure, and whose members would ever find in their chaplain a friend, wherever and whenever, in the future, the lines of their lives should meet.”
On the 9th of December he writes his last letter, in
which he says:
“For nearly a year and a half I have been constantly
with my regiment, except when absent from sickness, and have learned to regard its noble officers and brave soldiers as brothers and its camp as a home, second only in affection to my own domestic household. I am here once more, not alas ! long to remain, for exposure to the Virginia summer's heat and winter's cold, together with privations and hardships necessarily incident to campaigns such as ours have been, these have done their work, and for years I can scarcely hope to be as well in the future as I have been in the past ; but I have no complaints to make or regrets to express ; what I have seen is worth all it has cost, and I thank God it has been my high privilege to be with our loyal and heroic army during its hours of trial and danger. If any regret were mine, it would be that I am not able to remain with my regiment longer; but this is, doubtless, in God's providence, all right, and I am grateful that in some hospital or stationary camp I am still able to labor on for the officers and soldiers of our army, for whom in hours of sickness, or when wounded and suffering, none of us can do too much. Meanwhile I am here, home again for a little while.”
On the 10th of December, his resignation was accepted, and he received an honorable discharge. *
* The following is the order:
“HEAD-QUARTERS CENTRE GRAND DIVISION.
Camp near Potomac Creek, Va., “ Special Orders, No. 26.
December 10, 1862. “ The following-named officers, having tendered their resignations, are honorably discharged from the military service of the United States, on surgeon's certificate of disability.
“ By command of Major-General Hooker, Chaplain ARTHUR B. FULLER, 16 Mass. Vols. .....
“JOSEPH DICKENSON, A. A. Gen'l."
“Nothing in his life
“I must do something for my country !”
ŞHE Union army had been replenished, the
invading rebels driven back, and a new advance was now made
Richmond. The Peninsula route had proved the most unfavorable that could have been selected, not only by reason of the marshy and unhealthy ground to be traversed, but because it necessitated a division of the
The advance up the Peninsula did not cover Washington, and, unless a force were kept about the city and in the region lying between it and Richmond, a very obvious and effective mode of defence would be left to the enemy, who would have an opportunity to seize upon the Federal capital. If Richmond could thereby be taken, it would be a poor exchange in every point of view; nor could it be supposed that the Federal army would continue to move against the Rebel stronghold when their own capital was assailed. The Rebels had means of transportation by which they could advance upon Washington almost