Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/306

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

At Williamsburg he was wounded unto death, it was believed, and was left in the hospital unparoled; but by love and skill, after the lapse of months, he returned to the field, though not sufficiently convalesced for duty. He was, however, commended by General Lee for gallantry and efficiency in the great cavalry conflict at Brandy. He was again wounded in Pennsylvania and captured and retained in prison for months. Upon his return to his regiment in the Valley of Virginia, though physically feeble, he was welcomed as a tower of strength and assigned to a brigade, with which he demonstrated such capacity for increased command that he was honored with the commission of brigadier-general. His was the action that by determined charges upon advancing columns of Custer's cavalry, so dense it seemed as if the world were on horse, that with a regiment withstood the fearful odds of divisions and rescued comrades from dispersion into reformed and attacking forces. His were the troopers that crossed the stream that wears the name given to a great battle so gently that the murmurs of its waters were not hushed, and that aroused a sleeping enemy to consternation that should have been consummated in victory that would have evacuated the enemy's capital and established a Confederacy.

Wounded at Williamsburg, but one removed from the first battle of the invasion, and at Five Forks, the last engagement of the cavalry, his was the glory of shedding his blood for his State at her gateway and at her grave. Disabled by wounds and long a prisoner, he was denied opportunities that would have won him additional renown and assured him promotion, in the display of those qualities that proved him not only a fighter to thrill followers, but a commander to plan campaigns and conduct them. He was, however, though at the disadvantage of constrained absence from the fields of active service, chosen by General Fitz Lee to command his division, with the rank of major-general.

His joy of contest was almost recklessness, but it was electric and stimulated his men to elan that on many occasions, multiplied their numbers, seemingly, to startled enemies.

His trying experience ceased with with the war's close. He was taken from his home in Warrenton by a special detail from Washington to arrest him because of his name and would have