Great interest centered on in the enlistments, not only because of the intense loyalty of the people, but also because it indicated the sacrifice the various homes were making in giving of their best for the preservation of their country. Each name added to the role not only increased the number of the defenders of the Flag, but it also had an attraction for others who were sooner or later drawn in. My friend Erastus Smith was one of that number.
Those were exciting times. The daily war news from the front, the occasional meetings in the village church for the promotion of enlistments and the lengthening roll of volunteers were the main topics of conversation of the people in the home and on the street and at every gathering, and private interests and business were given second place.
Before the end of August the minimum number of eighty-five names necessary for a complete organization of the company with a full corps of officers was secured. A meeting was called for an election of officers, resulting as follows:- C. S. Merriman, Captain; Andrew Downing, 1st Lieutenant; I. H. Hughs, 2nd Lieutenant; Daniel Holmes, Orderly Sergeant; and a full line of duty sergeants and corporals. The time of leaving for the front was set for Monday September 1st, 1861. As the day approached, public interest intensified. I can never forget impressions that came to me on that last Sabbath day. Words were few and thoughts were serious. As I went out on to the commons for the cattle towards night, gaining an eminence that overlooked the surrounding country, as the sun would declining on that summer afternoon, I thought, "Will I ever be permitted to look upon this peaceful scene again? "
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