Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 36.djvu/316

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

town and 828 prisoners had been captured. In Payne's last battle at Five Forks, in command of what had been Fitz Lee's division, he held in check and repelled a large force of Sheridan's cavalry. A severe wound, received by him in the fight, spared him the deeper wound of surrender at Appomattox. While lying helpless, at his home in Warrenton, he was again captured and again imprisoned.

The spirit of battle which stirred in him was kind as it was brave. It was the spirit of one born to command. The ties cemented in war's peril were for him a sacred chain of obligation. Of all the troops he led; of all the staff who bore his orders; of all under him, or over him, in that fiery horse, I have yet to meet the man who was not proudly conscious of that chain and proudly captive to it. His chief of staff writes of him: "A more gallant soldier, inspiring leader, or resourceful commander never drew sword in any cause." Wounded and left on the field at Williamsburg: wounded and captured at Hanover near Gettysburg; wounded again at Five Forks and captured afterwards, as we have seen, Payne's life was spared for the moral battle to which a prostrate South was summoned.

"War is Hell."

The definition, "War is Hell," was given by a prominent participant in the war between the States. In the Savannahs of Georgia; the homes of the Carolinas; the valleys of Virginia, deeds were done which merit the definition. In those sweet valleys, over which, by orders from headquarters, the crow in flying should carry his own rations, the word was not a misnomer. A warrior's renown consists no longer in the greater host of armed men his valor hurls to defeat, but in the greater host of sorrows he fearlessly hurls on the unarmed. Time was when the warfare of the hero Saints was known as "Imitation of Christ." Our higher altruism knows it as "Imitation of Hell." Sheridan, defending the conduct of his troops in South Carolina, said to Carl Schurz: "Before we got out of that State the men had so accustomed themselves to destroying everything along the line of march that sometimes when I had my headquarters in a house that house began to burn before I was fairly