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Page:A narrative of service with the Third Wisconsin Infantry.djvu/122

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SERVICE WITH THE THIRD

stay with them. The contagion spread. By Christmas all but two of the officers, and 240 out of 300 enlisted men present with the Regiment, had, in the language of the day, "veteranized."

On Christmas this surviving remnant of the thousand men of the Third, who had so gayly left the State two-and-a-half years before, started on their return. It was a beautiful day, and for us one of perfect happiness. We were going home with a record that none could surpass and few commands could equal. We were the first regiment from Wisconsin, and I believe the first in the army, to reƫnlist.

At Madison the arms were stored, and the men scattered to their homes to enjoy their thirty-days furlough. I was just in time to take part in a New Year's dance, and go home in the morning on the coldest day ever known in Wisconsin.

The month of January, 1864, which we spent in Wisconsin, was a season of continuous festivities. The only drawback was the extreme cold, which to us who had just come from the South, seemed more severe than it had ever been before. Everyone seemed to be determined to give

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