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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/211

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Sketch of Capt. Don P. Halsey. 203

It is only just to General Iverson to say that his version of what General Ewell called his " unfortunate mistake " in sending word to General Rodes that some of his men had displayed the white flag, is that when the center brigade under Colonel O'Neal was driven back by the Federals, the enemy then charged in overwhelming force upon his brigade and completely shattered three regiments, capturing many prisoners. He then says: "When I saw white handkerchiefs raised and my line still lying down in position, I char- acterized the surrender as disgraceful; but when I found afterwards that 500 of my men were left lying dead and wounded on a line as straight as a dress parade I exonerated, with one or two disgraceful individual exceptions, the survivors, and claim for the brigade that they nobly fought and died without a man running to the rear. No greater gallantry and heroism have been displayed during the war." General Iverson also gives high praise to Captain Halsey for his services in rallying his brigade, and says: "I advanced the i2th North Carolina and fragments of the other regiments which Captain D. P. Halsey had already prepared for a forward movement into the woods overlooking the town and took possession of them," and again in the concluding part of his report he says: " Captain D. P. Halsey, assistant adjutant-general, was very conspicuous throughout the day for his distinguished gallantry and energy." (Records, Vol. XXVII, p. 580.)

Colonel Thomas M. Garrett, commanding the 5th North Carolina Regiment, in a report to Major-General Fitzhugh Lee, dated De- cember I4th, 1863 (Records, Vol. XXIX, p. 415), concerning fight- ing which took place at Morton's Ford and Raccoon Ford, says: "The adjutant-general, Captain D. P. Halsey, displayed his usual spirit and self-possession in the field. ' ' And so we find repeatedly the highest testimony to the bravery, skill and devotion of this knightly warrior on every occasion where the opportunity was afforded him to serve his country. Even when that country's cause was wavering and the victorious legions of the conquering North were advancing to the consummation which their "overwhelming numbers and resources " made assured, he was always found at the post of duty, ready to do and dare to the uttermost, and if need be to die, in the defence of what he conceived to be the vital principles of liberty, and with the same high faith that characterized his great leaders, Lee and Jackson, in a letter home he wrote, speaking of the enemy, " He boasts of his numbers. We rely upon our just cause and the kindness of an overruling Providence."