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The fifth and sixth lectures in the series on Soldier's and Sailor's Life were delivered last evening in Sanders Theatre. The speakers were veterans of the Civil War and their advice was of unusual interest. President Eliot introduced the speakers.
Dr. H. P. Bowditch '61, cavalry officer during the war, took up first the desirability of the different branches of army service. He recommended the light artillery as being perhaps the most inspiring and attractive. The exeriece of the cavalry in the Civil War proved the fallacy of the statement that the cavalry man seldom meets death on the field. In one battle the First Massachusetts Cavalry lost 186 men and officers out of a total of 300, and the experience of other cavalry troops was similar. Dr. Bowditch closed his lecture with a graphic account of army life. His troop seldom suffered from hunger, although the army rations were sometimes eaten under trying conditions. The individual should seek sleep and cleanliness as far as posible, and if not able to keep dry should at least keep up bodily warmth. The college man's superior usefulness in the field should come from his faithful devotion to the cause, from his readiness of perception, and from his undaunted youth.
Dr. S. W. Abbott M. S. '62, Assistant Surgeon in the Navy during the Civil War, compared the condition of the Navy at the present time with that during the war. At the outbreak of the Rebellion, the first ironclad was in course of construction. This ship was never completed, but by the end of the war, 85 ironclads had been launched or were building at the navy yards. Since sea fighting was carried on under such close range in the Civil War, the superiority of the men was a most important factor. Men of all sizes and ages are eligible for the navy. The service is more free from danger of infections and contagious diseases than the army, and has other advantages peculiar to it.
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