Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/242

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

get a deliberate aim at the advancing enemy. Then Dominick Spell- man, one of the heroes of our war, a member of the Irish company, raised the colors and gloriously bore them for the rest of the day, for which he was made color sergeant of the regiment, and bore them until himself was shot with the battle flag at Manassas. This, I believe, is as nearly accurate an account of this memorable incident as ca nnow be given.

I have been thus particular to give the position of each company of the regiment at the time, as it explains how it was, that after the fall of Color-Sergeant Taylor, the great loss fell upon the Charleston companies, and how it was that to them the glorious opportunity was given, of showing how heroically Carolina boys would give their lives for the State. But it was only the accident of the doubling up of our regimental line, which put Captain Barksdale's company (Company L), behind the colors, and thus giving them the oppor- tunity of furnishing the heroes, which every other company of the regiment would have done as well had the accidents of battle so de- creed. Letaie remind you also, that this is an account of an incident only of the battle, and hence it is that but three regiments of the brigade have been mentioned. Our comrades of the i3th and i4th regiments bore equally conspicuous and gallant parts upon that memorable day, but were not actively engaged at this time, the I3th being held in reserve, and the i4th hurrying into action after a long and tedious march from a distant position which they had been left temporarily to guard, and both coming to the assistance of the ist, 1 2th and Rifles, in their great emergency.

Permit me, dear Mrs. Taylor, to express to you the gratification the survivors of the old ist regiment experience in knowing that the ladies are taking an interest in our historic colors. I say historic, for the blue flag with the palmetto upon it, now in our State House, was carried from Fort Sumter and planted in the town of Gettysburg. It was, we believe, the first regimental flag unfurled in Virginia, for Governor Pickens, you know, sent Colonel Maxcy Gregg with his regiment to Richmond before the Virginia troops could be organized, and thus it was that it may truly be said the whole Army of Northern Virginia was gathered and organized around its folds.

I mentioned that Color Sergeant Spellman was shot at Second Manassas; carrying the battle flag. I will explain that, commanding the regiment in that battle, I considered the regimental colors as too conspicuous and costing too many lives, and, therefore, carried into that field only the Confederate battle flag a course which I believed