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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 10. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), The private Confederate soldier. (search)
last winter on the lines: Sir, the men of this war who will deserve the most honor and gratitude are not the men of rank, but the men of the ranks--the privates! I cordially concurred in the justice and truth of the compliment, for I had seen them tried on the rocks of Coal river, of Gauley and the Pocotalico. I had tested their endurance in the marches and countermarches, and scouting and skirmishing, of the Kanawha Valley; I had seen them in a first fight and victory against all odds at Scary, and their last stand against greater odds on the Sewall mountains; I had seen their constancy and courage proved at Hawk's Nest, at Honey Creek, at Big Creek, at Carnifax Ferry, and at Camp Defiance, in Northwest Virginia. I had seen them leap with alacrity to the defense of Roanoke Island, knowing when they went that they could not return but as captives or corpses. I have seen them in the Slaughter pen there slay twice their own numbers before they stacked the arms for which they had no