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[212] binding me so strongly to yourself, were beginning to take in also and to draw very close to me all of my brother officers of your staff. It causes me no slight pain to sever those ties — to take to my heart the thought that I am no longer of you. My constant prayer will be may God protect and bless you all; and my heart will be with you in the future, rejoicing at every brave deed done and at every new laurel won, full of earnest sympathy with all your fortunes whether good or ill.

Please remember me most particularly to my brother officers of the staff, the officers of Company G, Colonels Lowe, Speer, and Major Stowe; Colonels Avery, Barbour, and Barry--in a word all of my personal friends.

If God should ever give me strength to take the field again, you may expect to see me somewhere in the old 4th, if it be in the ranks with a musket on my shoulder.

Yours most truly,

The next and last assistant Adjutant-General was Captain E. J. Hale, Jr., of Fayettville, N. C. He entered the service as a private in Company F, First North Carolina Volunteers ( “Bethel regiment” ), and was adjutant of the Fifty-Sixth North Carolina Troops when I secured his promotion. He, too, was a very intelligent, highly educated, noble-hearted, Christian gentleman. In the discharge of all office work, he was remarkably accurate, prompt and efficient; and on the field, quick, cool, bold and dashing — just the officer to inspire troops with confidence. In the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Courthouse, he was conspicuously gallant; and at Petersburg, when our lines were broken, he mounted the works, and by his great bravery, won the outspoken admiration of all who saw him.

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