Open main menu

Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/210

This page needs to be proofread.


202 Southern Historical Society Papers.

back. At the very crisis, when a moment more of faltering may turn the tide in the wrong direction, he leaps into "the imminent deadly breach," seizes the colors, gives the command, " Forward! " himself leading the way, rallies and reforms the broken line and wrenches victory from the very grasp of defeat! If such a deed had been performed in olden times by a mailed Knight in glittering armor, it would have been embalmed among the treasures of chival- rous romance and furnished inspiration for the pen of the poet and the harp of the minstrel. Be it remembered, also, that it was in just such manner that he received his wound at Seven Pines.

Further on in his report General Rodes uses this language (p. 559) :

" I cannot close this portion of my report without expressing my pride and admiration of the conduct of the men and officers of this division from the time it left Grace Church until our return to Vir- ginia. Better marching, less straggling, hardships most cheerfully borne, conduct in an enemy's country more commendable, and more generally marked by gentlemanly and soldierly characteristics, and finally, better behavior in battle, than was exhibited by this division during that period has not been, and I believe will never be, exhib- ited by any other troops in the service. By their conduct at Gettys- burg I claim to have won the expression from the General command- ing the army, who saw their attack on July ist, ' I am proud of your division.' While I cannot mention all who won distinction during this campaign, it is my duty to record here the names of those offi- cers whose conduct, either from my own observation or from the voluntary testimony of many competent witnesses, I know to have been such as to entitle them to the admiration of brave men and to the gratitude of a good people. First among them are Brigadier- Generals Junius Daniel, George Doles and S. D. Ramseur, Lieuten- ant-Colonel T. H. Carter, Captain D. P. Halsey, assistant adjutant- general of Iverson's Brigade, Colonel D. H. Christie, 23rd North Carolina (who has since died from the wounds he received), and Lieutenant Harvey, Company F, I4th North Carolina, of my division, and Brigadier-General A. C. Jenkins and Major Sweeny, of the cavalry brigade. ' '

To be thus mentioned in this brief, but bright, roll of honor, by that gallant and chivalrous leader who later on was to yield up his life in the cause, is an honor of which any soldier might be proud, and is like receiving the accolade on the field of battle from the stainless Excalibur of Arthur himself.