Open main menu

Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/209

This page needs to be proofread.

Sketch of Capt. Don P. Halsey. 201

the first name mentioned by General Ewell is that of " Captain D. P. Halsey, assistant adjutant-general of Iverson's Brigade," who, he says, ' ' displayed conspicuous gallantry and rendered important service in rallying the brigade, which he led in its final attack."

General Rodes, the division commander, describes the disposition of the brigades employed in this movement just as described by General Ewell, and seems to think, too, that the movement through which the line in the center became broken was made by Colonel O'Neal, who commanded the center brigade. He agrees, also, that when Iverson's left became exposed, heavy loss was inflicted upon his brigade, and adds: " His men fought and died like heroes. His dead lay in a distinctly marked line of battle."

When General Daniel became engaged, and made the charge which General Ewell says "swept the field," and which General Rodes describes as "most gallant, desperate and entirely success- full," he was splendidly supported by General Ramseur, who hurled his brigade, General Rodes says, ' ' with the skill and gallantry, for which he is always conspicuous, and with irresistible force, upon the enemy just where he had repulsed O'Neal and checked Iverson's advance."

In the meantime General Early 's Division had been brought into action on General Rodes' left, and General Doles, who commanded the left Brigade of Rodes' Division, being thus relieved, attacked the enemy in front " with unsurpassed gallantry," and drove them before him, achieving on the left of the division the same brilliant success which attended Ramseur in the centre and Daniel on the right. O'Neal's troops, shattered, but brave, still rushed forward in the charge, and then, General Rodes says:

" The 1 2th North Carolina, which had been held well in hand by Lieutenant-Colonel Davis, and the shattered remnants of Iverson's Brigade, which had been rallied and organized by Captain D. P. Halsey, assistant adjutant-general of the brigade, made under his guidance a dashing and effective charge just in time to be of con- siderable service to Ramseur and Daniel, and with them pressed closely after the enemy." (Records, Vol. XXVII, Pt. 2, p. 554).

Here, then, we see war at its finest. Where upon history's page do we find the record of a deed more inspiring? In the midst of deadly conflict, when the issue of a great battle hangs in the bal- ance, a young officer sees that the troops are wavering and falling