Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/164

This page has been validated.
Southern Historical Society Papers.

other side of the river, leaving us to mourn his loss as a man and a soldier, and to emulate the virtues that raised him to the first rank among the generals of the world. But for his genius as a soldier he could not have won the recognition and praise of the world as he did, and but for his private virtue as a man he could not have left us in his death so priceless a treasure of regret.

We were also at Gettysburg, where heavy strokes were delivered and prodigies of valor performed by Lee's repulsed army during the three days' fight there; but when the order came to charge the heights and the strong rock lines on Culp's Hill, I felt in my soul that if only Jackson were here all would be well, for it was always his policy never to assault strongholds or storm positions as impregnable as these. He always found a way to move the enemy, and at the same time save his own men.

The last battle we took part in was the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse, one of the bloodiest of the war, and the only one in which I remember seeing General Lee lose his head on being repulsed; but he did on this occasion, and to the extent of attempting to personally lead a charge to recover his broken line. This fight ended our war career, for the whole of Johnson's Division, to which we belonged, was captured at the Bloody Angle on the 12th of May, 1864. We were taken to the northern prison at Fort Delaware, where we spent the next thirteen months till the close of the war.

I have written these few thoughts from memory, which is very vivid as to some of the events of this stormy period, and have done so for the purpose of showing the honorable career of the company to which I belonged, and that I am proud of being a member of it.


Organized at Keysville, Va., Charlotte county, May 2, 1861, and mustered into the service of the Confederate States of America at Richmond, Ya., May 20, 1861. Assigned to the Twenty-third Virginia Regiment, of Virginia Volunteers, William B. Taliaferro, colonel commanding, and designated as Company K.

A. W. Bailey, captain. Died since the war.