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Two soldiers from South Deerfield, Massachusetts, were killed in separate battles nearly 1,000 miles apart on the same day, May 18, 1864. James Taylor Stebbins (1834 -1864) served as a sergeant in the 31st. Mass. Regiment and died in the battle of Yellow Bayou, Louisiana. Myron E. Stowell (1839-1864) a private in the 21st. Mass. Regiment, died in action at Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia. This speech of praise, delivered at the Congregational Church where both men were members, called upon the community to renew its faith in "Christian combat."