Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/9

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thcv \vt re not put into a service where more laurels and less hard

< could hi- gaim-d. Hut there was one officer who nobly said:

" I .1111 iv., dv to do my whole duty wherever I am put, and if my superiors in command see fit to give me the least glorious duty to perform, I will do it with the sann- alacrity that I would or could perform those duties which are crowned with the brightest leaves of honor; and if duty don't require of me to incur greater danger than that of the service at this post, I thank God for the chance of being spared to my little family. Any may have the honors of war, if I can be allowed to do my duty wherever put, and I can be spared to my wife and child." From that moment forward I set that man down as a true man and soldier of the first water and purest crystal, all of which he so proved to the moment of his death at his post, so brightly, so grandly, so great and so good as to make the name of Colonel P. R. Page immortal among angels in Heaven if not among men on earth. During the durance at Chaffin's, the time was not lost in drilling, and without any disparagement to other regiments, my own or those of other commands, I hesitate not to say that the officers of the 26th Regiment of Virginia, from Colonel Page and Lieutenant-Colonel J. C. Council down to the sergeants and corpo- rals, had perfected its drill to a degree superior to that of any regi- ment known to me in the entire army of General Lee. Mahone had the best drilled brigade, but this was the best drilled regiment known to me in the Confederate army. It twice saved my brigade by its regular and orderly and steady rally; once at the White Oak road, on the 3ist March, 1865, near Hatcher's Run, and again on the 6th April, 1865, at Sailor's creek, on the retreat to Appomattox.

And before I leave the camps at Chaffin's and at Diascund and at the White House on the Peninsula, I cannot omit to pay a tribute to the people who remained at home to make bread for our army and comforts for the boys of our brigade. However, other soldiers in the field may have suffered for want of supplies or from neglect of quartermasters and commissaries, I must do credit and pay but just dues to our purveyors as far above the general demerits of their class in the army. Major W. F. C. Gregory, as Commissary, and Majors F. D. Cleery and H. C. Watkins of our brigade were above reproach in the discharge of their duties. Gregory, particularly, was distinguished as surpassing his own superiors so far that in the last retreat he was the main agent of supplies to Johnson's Division, though he was but the commissary of our brigade. But though so well served officially, what I desire to say most gratefully is: that