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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/205

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Sketch of Capt. Don P. Halsey. 197

ginia, becoming second lieutenant in Company G, of what was known as the 2nd Virginia Cavalry, or 3Oth Virginia Regiment Mounted, but which was really the first regiment of Virginia cavalry to be organized, and would probably have been known as the ist Regiment, but that this distinction was given to the regiment of Colonel (afterward General) J. E. B. Stuart. This regiment was commanded by Colonel R. Carleton W. Radford and the company of which he was an officer was under the command of Captain Winston Radford. Soon after the organization of the regiment it was ordered to the neighborhood of Manassas, and participated gallantly in the first battle of Manassas in July, 1861. Captain Winston Radford was killed at Manassas, in a most dashing charge, in which Lieutenant Halsey participated in such manner as to be mentioned in Colonel Radford' s report among those who distinguished themselves on that occasion ( War Records, Vol. II, pp. 458 and 533), and in the election of company officers which followed that sad event, Lieutenant Halsey was promoted from second lieutenant to first, and this rank he held until the following spring, when at the re-organization of his company he withdrew and went as a volunteer aide-de-camp upon the staff of General Longstreet, his company, with four others of his regiment under the command of Lieutenant- Colonel T. T. Munford, having belonged to Longstreet's Brigade. This position he held but a short time, being soon commissioned as . aide on General Garland's staff. His efficiency as a staff officer was such as to elicit golden opinions from every general upon whose staff he was employed, and while doubtless his advancement in rank would have been greater if he had continued as a line officer and remained with Virginia troops, his usefulness to the cause he loved so devotedly was such as to deserve promotion to high rank even if he did not receive it. The rules of the service, however, were such that promotion for staff officers was hard to obtain, and especially was promotion slow to those who served with troops of other States than their own. It so happened that Captain Halsey for the greater part of the time was thrown with troops from North Carolina in- stead of Virginia and this may have been one of the causes why he was not advanced to higher rank. His record as a soldier, never- theless, is one of which his descendants may ever be justly proud, as it is the unvarying testimony of his comrades and all with whom he served, that no man ol his rank in the armies of the Confederacy made a better record for zeal, efficiency and bravery. That fine old Virginia gentleman, General T. T. Munford, who served with him