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My dear Bardeen:
the nation, and yet not old enough to You have done a real service, first, in participate in the events which accomsafeguarding your diary through all these panied it with full adult power. You years, and, second, in making it the basis have answered this question admirably for these intensely interesting personal and fully. Your reflections upon the recollections of the Civil War.
relative capacity of various commanding The literature of that war is, as you well officers, your anecdotes, and your sketches know, already almost limitless in extent, of such battles as those at Chancellorsbut. I question whether in the years to ville and Gettysburg have given me keen come any of the documents that throw pleasure, and they will certainly give a light upon it will have more real value pleasure just as keen to the many who than the frankly stated personal reminis- will read these recollections in book form. cences and recollections of nien who, like You have not changed so very much yourself, fought in the ranks and saw the since you enlisted in Company D, First ebb and flow of battle from the standpoint Massachusetts Infantry. Then, as now, of the private soldier. There is a close- you permitted very little to escape your ness of contact with events which the vigilant notice; then, as now, you were private soldier enjoys that in no small furnished with quick wit and keen humor degree compensates for his inability to with which to illumine events as they see a scheme of campaigning or a plan of happened, and to soften asperities as they battle as a whole.
came to your notice; then, as now, you It has been peculiarly interesting to hated shams and pretence, and had a me to read your reminiscences, because pretty sharp lance in hand with which to I have often wondered what must have make your justifiable hatred effective; been the feelings and the reflections of an then, as now, you were blessed with the American youth who found himself in the power of description that your friends early sixties old enough to appreciate in recognize to be most unusual, the results some degree the great crisis which faced of which they never fail to enjoy.