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rolling, old soldiers who have stood unblanched on many a battle field, seeing that war's storm king is still moving with fearful power, that the flag is still assailed and their second term of enlistment is drawing towards its end, are now re-enlisting and contracting for a third term of service.
Tuesday, 22d.-To-day the veteran spirit rages high. The chill winter winds are now blowing. We move through the Seventh's camp. There they stand shivering around the camp fires with no tents and scarcely any covering to shelter them from the winter frosts. Can it be possible that the men will contract to prolong this life of privations and arduous duties. But it is nevertheless a fact, the regiment is going almost to a man, showing to the world examples that should move the mighty north as it has never before been moved, move it in such a way, that the southern army that to-day claims to be legion would be crushed into atoms.
Wednesday, 23d.-This morning Captain Ahern with two men from each company leave for Illinois to recruit for the regiment. The entire regiment is now making preparations to go home on furlough, which is one of the conditions in the veteran contract. All are now busy preparing for muster, making out rolls, filling up enlistment papers, &c. Thursday, 31st.-The last week of 1863, the Seventh will never forget in mid-winter-standing in the rain, snow and storm anxiously waiting for the finishing of the rolls. This evening they are done; the cry is now for the mustering officers; all are anxious to start northward.
January 1st, 1864.-Sixty-four is ushered in bleak and rough. The year has died, but its blood-wrought history will live co-equal with time. The war clouds have hung long over a stricken people bringing sadness and tears to many a hearthstone; but the voice of the boys in blue now rolling from the tented field is positive. Shivering around the camp fires they say we will give the lie to modern democracy; we will show them that we are not tired of this "abolition war," that we will not leave the field while one hostile foe assails the flag.
"The mustering officer!"—"The mustering officer!" is now the universal cry. Colonel, can you not toll him out here? some one asks; "you know, Colonel, that he always goes where they have the best and the most for the 'neck'" utters one. But we will be compelled to wait his pleasure, for the colonel, as it happens, don't work with men in that style.
January 7th.-The weather still the same-cold and windy. The camp of the Seventh is indeed place of suffering, but men of steel stand here, and despite the warring elements they manage to keep cheerful. Another long week of anxious waiting for the mustering officers has passed away. At last he comes. How welcome is his presence. This evening though they have long been veterans in practice, the Seventh is denominated by name the Seventh Illiinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry. Thus ends our second enlistment, and commences our veteran organization.
Leaving Pulaski on veteran furlough—Arrival at Springfield-The Reception-The Regiment in the Representatives ChamberWelcome speech of Governor Yates-General Cook and the Seventh's old flag-General Cook's speech-The hospitality of the people The Seventh at home.
Corraling our horses and mules and leaving them in charge of the non-veterans, the regiment on the 8th of January, with drums beating, colors flying, and hopes beating high, march from Pulaski, Tennessee. Arriving at Columbia we take the cars for Nashville, where we remain in the Soldier's Home until transportation is furnished. Transportation being furnished we proceed by rail to Louisville, Kentucky, where we remain until we receive our pay and bounty-after which we cross the Ohio and take the cars for Springfield, Illinois.
January 15th.-The train carrying the Seventh is now near Springfield; soon we expect to meet a grateful people, who have already been informed of the hour of our arrival. The train moves slowly across Sangamon river, and as it emerges from the timber and approaches the city we hear the cannon's roar. The echoes roll across the prairie, telling to us that the great loyal heart of Illinois still beats true for liberty and its defenders. The train moves into the Great Western depot, and a vast crowd is now moving towards us. The patriot fathers are here; mothers,