over the South
, which none who saw it can ever forget.
The “Louisa Blues,” a volunteer company, composed of the very best young men of the county, were drilling at noon on the Court green
, when a telegram from Richmond
ordered them to be ready to take a train of cars at sundown that evening.
Immediately all was bustle and activity; couriers were sent in every direction to notify absentees, and in every household busy fingers and anxious hearts were engaged in preparing these brave volunteers to meet promptly the call of their native Virginia
There was scarcely a laggard or a skulker in the whole company.
Delicate boys, of scarcely sixteen, vied with gray-haired fathers in eagerness to march to the post of duty, and an hour before the appointed time that splendid company (numbering considerably more than its original roll strength) gathered at the depot, where an immense crowd had assembled to see them off. An aged minister of the Gospel spoke words of earnest counsel, and led the multitude in fervent prayer that the God of Jacob might go forth with these patriot soldiers, keep them in the way whither they went, and bring them back to their homes in safety and peace; but, above all, that he would shield them from the vices of the camp, and lead them into paths of righteousness.
The man of God is interrupted by the shrill whistle of the iron horse — the train dashes up to the depot, all are soon aboard, and, amid the waving of handkerchiefs, the cheers of the multitude, and the suppressed sobs of anxious mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters, those noble men go forth at the bidding of the sovereign power of their loved and honored State.
they are joined by companies from Staunton
, and the University of Virginia; and Orange
, and other counties along the route swell their numbers as they hasten to the capture of Harper's Ferry
, and the defense of the border.
The call of Virginia
now echoes through the land, and from seaboard to mountain valley the tramp of her sons is heard.
, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida
, and distant Texas
, catch the sound-her sons in every clime heed the call of their mother State; and these rush to our Northern border — the very flower of the intelligence, the wealth, the education, the social position, the culture, the refinement, the patriotism, and the religion of the South
--to form the armies of the Shenandoah
, and Manassas
, and Norfolk
, which those masters of the art of war, J. E. Johnston
, moulded into what was afterward the famous Army of Northern Virginia, with which our peerless Lee
won his series of splendid victories.