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Source : United States Army Military History Institute

CHARLES M. ERSKINE, - Company M, Private, 13TH PAC, G. A. R. POST 24, DEPT. PA.
  During the past 18 years I have read many accounts of the different heroes who went forth to fight for the Union, and if I am not mistaken, there is no company of soldiers but can lay claim of having at least one hero among them. For instance, we had one in our company, but he was of a different type than those we read about.
Our hero will be reviewed under the name David Samuels. He was the bravest soldier (in his own mind) that ever drew a sabre in the service of Uncle Sam. Why, to hear him tell of the gallant deeds he intended to do, when he came face to face with the rebel foe, would almost make a new recruit think that in less than three months Lee and his entire army would be swept out of existence.
  Samuels enlisted in the spring of '63; he was one of the 17 sergeants (out of twenty-two recruits), who left Philadelphia to join the regiment then encamped at Winchester, VA., and soon after his arrival there he was armed and mounted and ready for active service. What a noble looking soldier he was; and hoe he strutted about with his sabre hanging at his side. And then to see him draw his sabre and make a right cut, thrust, and parry against infantry, or to see him show how he intended to take a rebel cavalryman's head off by one of his sweeping right cuts against cavalry. Really, it was wonderful. But at last the day arrived that gave the opportunity of showing his courage, it was in this wise: a few weeks before the second battle of Winchester, VA., a scouting party was detailed to go out towards Front Royal. Samuels was among the number. And the further we advanced into the enemy's country the quieter he became, at length we halted on the edge of a large woods, here we remained but a short time, and on advancing again it was discovered that Samuels was missing, and it was the last we saw of him for several days, when he came riding into camp with one leg slung over the pummel of the saddle, and his cap on one side of his head, singing in aloud voice: - Hurrah, hurrah! I'm a Union boy. Hurrah, hurrah! I'm so noble and brave. Continued...

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