Page:Boissonnas, Un Vaincu, English, 1875.djvu/43

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joyous Christmas at Arlington, and that it may be long and often repeated. I thought of you and wished to be with you. Mine was gratefully but silently passed. I endeavored to find some presents for the children in the garrison, and succeeded better than I anticipated. The stores were very barren, but by including them the week beforehand in my daily walks, I picked up something for all.”

We have already said that the Forts were simple block houses, protecting only a small number of soldiers. Those block houses were also very far apart. It was not always easy to obtain, at the proper moment, the presence of the only Chaplain of the regiment, so officers were sometimes obliged to take his place in his ministry.

We are in the month of June. Colonel Lee is at Camp Cooper. “The thermometer ranges above 100 degrees ; but the sickness among the men is on the decrease, though there has been another death among the children. He was as handsome a little boy as I ever saw -- the son of one of our sergeants, about a year old ; I was admiring his appearance the day before he was taken ill. Last Thursday his little waxen form was committed to the earth. His father came to me, the tears flowing down his cheeks, and asked me to read the funeral service over his body, which I did at the grave for the second time in my life. I hope I shall not be called on again, for, though I believe it is far better for the child to be called by its Heavenly Creator into His presence in its purity and