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[448] and uses other very ugly language concerning General Taylor's narrative, recalling to any fair minded man the old fable about “kicking the dead lion.” The editor of the Nation says in a note that as General Taylor's narrative had appeared in the North American Review a year before his death, “some of the severity of language expended on it would have been more appropriate at an earlier date.”

In a subsequent issue of the Nation, W. S. Symington, of Baltimore, who was Adjutant of the Twenty-first Virginia regiment at the time, testifies that he saw at Middleburg and Winchester “several breastplates on dead Federal soldiers.”

Colonel William LeRoy Broun (now professor in Vanderbilt University, then in charge of the arsenal at Richmond) publishes in the same issue a statement to the effect that a few days after the “Seven days battles” around Richmond, he “saw and carefully examined two steel breastplates taken from the bodies of two Federal soldiers.” And Mr. S. W. Thaxter writes from Portland, Maine, that Captain Judson “is in error in asserting that breastplates were not worn by cavalry soldiers in Banks' army in May, 1862. The writer found one which a soldier left in bivouac, and tested its quality as a protective device by fastening it to a tree and piercing it several times with carbine shots, much to the chagrin of the owner, who soon discovered his loss.”

But the editor of the Nation caps the climax in disposing of Captain Judson by the following note:

The case in regard to the breastplates seems closed. Mr. Henry C. Wayne, formerly in charge of the Bureau of Clothing, Equipage and Equipment of the Quartermaster-General's Office, United States army, writes to the Savannah Morning News, of July 19, that they were introduced into the army shortly before the rebellion, by General McDowell, “for the protection of our officers and men in Indian fighting against lances, arrows and armes blanches generally.” He had borrowed the idea from the French Cuirassicrs, during a trip to Europe for purposes of inspection.--Ed. Nation.

We may add that our Southern papers have teemed with proofs that the aforesaid breastplates were frequently worn by Federal soldiers during the war, and if any one is still skeptical, if he will call at the office of the Southern Historical Society we will take him across the hall to our Virginia State Library and show him several beautiful specimens of these “protective devices,” which were taken from the persons of Federal soldiers and have been preserved as war relics.

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