e charge was probably as splendid as any of which history has made record.
Just as we were well over the brow of the hill, I cast my eyes to the right, and I will ever carry a vivid impression of the rapid, but steady and beautiful, movement of the advancing line of some 800 men—the greater part of whom, being to my right, were within the range of my vision—as our five Virginia regiments, their five battle flags, borne by as many gallant color-bearers, floating in the bright sunlight of that July morning, and the battalion of sharpshooters double-quicked across the field they were unconsciously making famous.
A Federal soldier thus describes the charge:
The second brigade had hardly raised their heads when the cry broke out from our men, The rebels are charging.
Here they come.
Looking to the front I saw a splendid line of gray coming up the ravine on the run. Their left was nearly up to the bomb-proofs, and their line extended off into the smoke as far as we could see. They w
This campaign is remarkable for having accomplished more in proportion to the force employed, and for having given less public satisfaction, than any other campaign of the war. The want of appreciation of it is entirely due to the erroneous opinion that the City of Washington should have been taken; but this may be passed over as one of the absurdities of public criticism on the conduct of the war.
By glancing at the operations of Early, from the 13th of June to the last of July, it will be seen that in less than two months he had marched over four hundred miles, and with a force not exceeding twelve thousand men, he had not only defeated but entirely dispersed two Federal armies of an aggregate strength of more than double his own; had invaded Maryland, and by his bold and rapid movement upon Washington, had created an important diversion in favor of General Lee in the defence of Richmond, and had re-entered Virginia with a loss of less than three thousand men. Afte
id it. They were memorialized and threatened, and the alternative was put to them either to resign or allow the traditional right practice to go on. They quietly answered that neither would be right, and after a while they had no difficulty.
During his course, from the date above given, Cadet Polk was a frequent guest at my house, and much beloved in my family; always maintaining a most consistent walk, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, and beloved among his fellow cadets.
He graduated July I, 1827, and was made brevet second lieutenant artillery.
But he never entered upon service.
He took leave of absence to December 1st of the same year, and then resigned.
His health was not strong.
He had inherited a tendency to pulmonary disorder, and it was thought that foreign travel would be of service, and he went abroad.
I gave him a letter to Olenthus Gregory, whose book on the Evidences, etc., had been so connected with the progress of his mind in divine things.
In it I related