most melancholy farce in the war. 3. The enormous straggling. The battle was fought with less than thirty thousand men. Had all our stragglers been up, McClellan's army would have been completely crushed or annihilated. Doubtless, the want of shoes, want of food, and physical exhaustion had kept many brave men from being with the army. But thousands of thieving poltroons had kept away from sheer cowardice. The straggler is generally a thief and always a coward, lost to all sense of shame; he can only be kept in ranks by a strict and sanguinary discipline. list of casualties.
In this sad list, we have especially to mourn many distinguished officers.
Brigadier-General Garland was killed at South Mountain, the most fearless man I ever knew, a Christian hero, a ripe scholar, and most accomplished gentleman.
Brigadier-General G. B. Anderson was mortally wounded at Sharpsburg, a high-toned, honorable, conscientious, Christian soldier, highly gifted and lovely in all the qualities that adorn a man. Colonel C. C. Tew, Second North Carolina regiment, was one of the most finished scholars on the continent, and had no superior as a soldier in the field.
Colonel B. B. Gayle, Twelfth Alabama, a most gallant and accomplished officer, was killed at South Mountain. Colonel W. P. Barclay, Twenty-third Georgia, the hero of South Mountain, was killed at Sharpsburg.
There, too, fell those gallant Christian soldiers, Colonel Levi B. Smith, Twenty-seventh Georgia, and Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. Newton, of the Sixth Georgia.
The modest and heroic Major Tracy, of the Sixth Georgia, met there, too, a bloody grave.
The lamented Captain Plane, of that regiment, deserves special mention; of him it could be truly said that he shrank from no danger, no fatigue, and no exposure.
Major Robert S. Smith, Fourth Georgia, fell, fighting most heroically, at Sharpsburg.
He had received a military education, and gave promise of eminence in his profession.
Captain James B. Atwell, Twentieth North Carolina, deserves to live in the memory of his countrymen for almost unsurpassed gallantry.
After having greatly distinguished himself in the capture of the Yankee battery at South Mountain, he fell, heroically fighting, at Sharpsburg.
Brigadier-General Ripley received a severe wound in the throat, from a minie ball, which would have proven fatal, but for passing through his cravat.
After his wound was dressed, he heroically returned to the field, and remained to the close of the day with his brigade.
Brigadier-General Rodes received a painful contusion from a shell, but remained with his command.
Colonel McRae, commanding brigade, was struck in the forehead, but gallantly remained on the field.
Colonel Bennett, Fourteenth North Carolina regiment, who had conducted himself most nobly throughout, won my special admiration for the heroism he exhibited, at the moment of receiving what he supposed to be a mortal wound.
Colonel De Rosset, Third North Carolina, received a severe wound at Sharpsburg, which, I fear, will forever deprive the South of his most valuable services.
Colonel F. M. Parker, Thirtieth North Carolina, a modest, brave, and accomplished officer, was severely wounded at Sharpsburg.
Colonel J. B. Gordon, Sixth Alabama, the Chevalier Bayard of the army, received five wounds at Sharpsburg, before he would quit the field.
The heroic Colonel Fry, Thirteenth Alabama, and Colonel O'Neal, Twenty-sixth Alabama, who had both been wounded at Seven Pines, were once more wounded severely at Sharpsburg, while nobly doing their duty.
Lieutenant-Colonel Pickens, Twelfth Alabama, and Major Redden, Twenty-sixth Alabama, were both wounded at South Mountain, the former severely.
They greatly distinguished themselves in that battle.
Lieutenant-Colonel J. M. Lightfoot, Sixth Alabama, and Lieutenant-Colonel Johnston, Fourteenth North Carolina, were wounded at Sharpsburg, the latter slightly.
Major Thurston, Third North Carolina, received a painful contusion, but did not leave the field.
Lieutenant-Colonel Ruffin, Thirteenth North Carolina, remained with his regiment on South Mountain, after receiving three painful wounds.
Lieutenant-Colonel Betts, Thirteenth Alabama, was slightly wounded.
Lieutenant-Colonel Zachry, Twenty-seventh Georgia, had just recovered from a severe wound received before Richmond, to receive a more serious one at Sharpsburg.
Lieutenant-Colonel Best and Major Huggins, Twenty-third Georgia, gallant and meritorious officers, were severely wounded at Sharpsburg.
It becomes my grateful task to speak in the highest terms of my brigade commanders, two of whom sealed their devotion to their country with their lives.
Major Ratchford, Major Pierson, chief of artillery, and Lieutenant J. A. Reid, of my staff, were conspicuous for their gallantry.
Captain Overton, serving temporarily with me, was wounded at Sharpsburg, but remained under fire until I urged him to leave the field.
Captain West and Lieutenant T. J. Moore, ordnance officers, discharged faithfully their duty, and rendered important service on the field at South Mountain. Major Archer Anderson, Adjutant, had been wounded in crossing the Potomac, and I lost his valuable services in Maryland. Sergeant Hanneling and privates Thomas Jones and Minter, of the couriers, acquitted themselves handsomely.
Brigadier-General Rodes reports, as specially deserving notice for their gallantry, Colonel O'Neal and Major Redden, Twenty-sixth Alabama; Colonel J. B. Gordon, Lieutenant-Colonel Lightfoot, Lieutenant R. H. Larrey, Sergeant J. B. Hancock. Sixth Alabama; Major E. L. Hobson, Captain T. M. Riley, Lieutenant J. M. Gaff, Sergeant A. Swicegood, Color-Corporal Joshua Smith,