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[381] which unjustly claims for my old battery the distinguished honor of firing the last shot in the army of Northern Virginia.

Your correspondent is mistaken. This honor has never been claimed by myself or any member of the battery as far as I know, and I think it an act of justice to correct any such impression. While the old battery was more than once named in “general orders” and frequently complimented by Generals Beauregard, Hoke, Pettigrew and others, and I feel proud of its record, I cannot claim for myself what is due some other gallant commander.


But the following from our gallant friend, Major Parker, seems to show that the honor really belonged to “Johnson's Battery” of Richmond:

* * * * * *

The “last artillery shot” was not fired by a battery “stationed in the yard of Mr. Peers,” but by a Richmond battery known as “Johnson's battery,” and once commanded by the late Major Marmaduke Johnson, of this city. On the occasion referred to this battery was commanded by our popular sheriff, Captain John W. Wright. While waiting for orders to advance with my artillery on the morning of the 9th of April, Lieutenant James Grattan, also of this city, and who was at that time acting as adjutant to my battalion, returned from the front, and, with his eyes full of tears, said: “Major, the army cannot advance; can't you open the way with your artillery.” We had not been able to haul enough ammunition from the lines near Petersburg for one hour's active firing, and for six days neither man nor horse had received a single ration from the quartermaster, yet, if anything was to be attempted, here seemed to be the occasion. Riding forward to select a position for the artillery, we had gone but a short distance when, to our surprise and mortification, we found ourselves in the presence of Generals Gordon and Custar, surrounded by a large staff. A glance told the story. The firing was still going on, especially on the left. So soon as recognized by General Gordon, I was ordered to cause the firing to cease. I directed Adjutant Grattan to go to the right while I went to the left, and ascending a hill found “Johnson's battery,” commanded, as before stated, by Captain Wright, actively engaged, and when the order was given to “cease firing” the question came from many anxious, trembling lips, “What for? What's the matter?” The reply sent a pang of anguish to every heart too deep for utterance. With the last deep-toned and defiant sound sent forth by this brave Richmond battery, the great heart of the noble Army of Northern Virginia had ceased to beat forever; and then there “was stillness as of death.”

* * * * * *

Wm. W. Parker, Late Major of Artillery, C. S. A. Richmond, Va.

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