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Perry's Saints

The Fighting Parson's Regiment

• Title
• Author
• Preface

• Chapter I
• Chapter II
• Chapter III
• Chapter IV
• Chapter V
• Chapter VI
• Chapter VII
• Chapter VIII
• Chapter IX
• Chapter X
• Chapter XI
• Chapter XII
• Chapter XIII
• Chapter XIV
• Chapter XV
• Chapter XVI
• Chapter XVII
• Chapter XVIII
• Chapter XIX
• Chapter XX


To the rising generation the war of the rebellion already seems more like a romance than a reality. One by one the active participants in that momentous period of the nation's history are passing away. In a few years there will not be a veteran left to tell the story of his own experience on field and in camp. Hardly had the writer of the following pages completed and revised his work, and placed the copy in the hands of the publishers, when he, too, was summoned to join the great army beyond. That he had a touch of the rare quality which we call heroism, as well as fervent patriotism, is sufficient reason why the reader should know something more about him than is disclosed in the faithful and comprehensive record of his army life contained in this volume.

James M. Nichols was born in Haverhill, Mass., in 1835. His early education was received in the public schools of his native town, and he prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, Mass. He graduated at Williams College in 1857, having been a fellow-student with President James A. Garfield. The storming of Fort Sumter fired his heart with patriotism, and he was soon among his own townsmen actively engaged in enlisting a company which was at once consolidated in another organization. He then went to New York, and was commissioned as a lieutenant in the 48th regiment, but afterwards rose to the rank of captain. During his three years of service Colonel Nichols was second to none in that famous regiment in thorough devotion to duty and in the display of soldierly qualities. On several occasions he was in command of the regiment, and led it through many a fiery ordeal with courage and ability. In recognition of these services he was brevetted successively major, lieutenant-colonel, and colonel. In private life Mr. Nichols was frank, manly, impulsive, sympathetic, and an earnest Christian. To these qualities were added musical gifts and a rare power in conversation, which made him a delightful companion; while to those who knew him best, his thorough genuineness, and the nobility of a nature which scorned everything narrow and mean, made him the trusted and beloved friend. He died suddenly, July 1, 1886, from the effects of disease contracted in the service. He was tenderly borne to his last resting-place by comrades from the Grand Army of the Republic, and he has left behind as the inalienable possession of his sons the legacy of a pure, upright, and useful life.