Open main menu

Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/207

This page needs to be proofread.

Sketch of Capt. Don P. Halsey. 199

and leading it forward with their colors in his hand when he received a dangerous wound in the head which will deprive me of his valuable services for a longtime to come." Colonel William E. Peters, in a letter to the writer, refers to his behavior at Seven Pines as follows: " I did not serve with him during the war, but he had the reputation as a soldier second to none. I remember one thing, I was on the field of the battle of Seven Pines. The works of the enemy were assaulted by his brigade. The brigade recoiled from the assault, when he seized the brigade colors, rallied and led the brigade, and fell within a short distance of the enemy's works. It was reported that he had been killed. I went in search of his body, but he had been removed, desperately wounded, to a hospital in Richmond. I have always considered that your father was in a great measure re- sponsible for carrying the enemy's works in this desperate battle." It would seem from a comparison of this statement with General Garland's report, that the brigade movement described by Colonel Peters was that of a regiment instead.

He returned to active service as soon as recovery from his wound would permit, and in the fall of that same year (1862), he took part in the Maryland campaign and participated in the hot fighting which took place at Boonsborough, South Mountain and Sharpsburg. On September 14, 1862, at the battle of South Mountain, General Gar- land was killed. It is said that when he fell, mortally wounded, his aide, Lieutenant Halsey, was the first to reach his side and to re- ceive his dying message: " I am killed, send for the senior colonel." This turned out to be Colonel D. K. McRae, of the 5th North Car- olina, who promptly took command of the brigade and directed its movements in the fighting that followed. He also mentions the activity of Lieutenant Halsey, of General Garland's staff. Gen- eral D. H. Hill speaks feelingly of General Garland's death in his report, calling him "a pure, gallant and accomplished Christian soldier, who had no superior and few equals in the service," and saying that his brigade had behaved nobly. At the battle of Sharps- burg, a day or two later, Captain Halsey was again wounded, and this time was captured, but his wound was not serious, and he was soon exchanged and returned to active service.

At the battle of Chancellorsville (May 3-6, 1863), Captain Halsey was among those mentioned in General Rodes' report as having been "under fire," and Brigadier-General Alfred Iverson, upon whose staff he was now serving, says in his report of that battle: 4< My thanks are due Captain D. P. Halsey, Assistant Adjutant-Gen-