... if I had but dreamed of the possibility of such a fate, I would have walked to Washington ..

SWMODave

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Henry E Palmer later captain of Co C of 11th Kansas Cavalry
Kansas State Historical Society
[in Colorado when war broke out]

At Marysville, Kan., Crawford and myself, being in splendid physical condition, having averaged about eight miles a day on foot, and fearing that the war would be over before we could reach Fort Leavenworth, left the wagon at four P. M., just after our Missouri teamster had camped for the night, and pushed on on foot, walking and trotting, until 3 A. M. We then laid down on the prairie for sleep and rest. Having no overcoats or blankets, two hours' exposure was all we could stand. Then we double-quicked about eight miles to the first ranch, where we received a good breakfast and two hours' rest and sleep; then until three P. M. we tried to outwalk and outrun each other.

A good dinner and three hours' rest at an Indian agency gave us strength for an all-night rapid march to Atchison, Kan. - 127 miles in forty consecutive hours, feet blistered, and tired beyond description. A short steamboat ride brought us to Leavenworth on the eve of July 30. By ten a. m. on the 31st day of July, 1861, my twentieth birthday, I enlisted, and was mustered out November 2, 1865, Crawford joining with me, and Goodrich a few days later, on his arrival.

If I had dreamed that my four years, three months and three days' service was to be all the time west of the Mississippi, on the border, on the extreme right wing of our great army; that obedience to orders and soldierly duty would deprive me of the glory of the army of the Tennessee, the Atlanta campaign, the army of the Potomac, and the march in the grand review; that the twenty-four general engagements and hundreds of bushwhacking fights in which I participated were to be comparatively insignificant, to be barely mentioned in the history to be written of the great struggle - if I had but dreamed of the possibility of such a fate, I would have walked to Washington before enlisting.
 

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