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[425] and Queries: “Did General Armistead fight on the Federal side at First Manassas?” General A. Sidney Johnston, Captain (or Major) Armistead with other officers of the army who had resigned in California, arrived at Mesilla on the 27th of July, 1861, and were my guests for a week, during which time they assisted us in the capture of a large amount of stores and material, also forcing the evacuation of the posts west of the Rio Grande. Yours respectfully,

Thus it is in proof that General Armistead was in California when his State seceded, and the war broke out — that as soon as he heard of it he resigned — that he was with General A. S. Johnston in his famous journey across the plains, and that he arrived at Mesilla a week after the first battle of Manassas (or Bull Run), was fought on the 21st of July, 1861, and that it was, therefore, as much a physical impossibility that Armistead could have been present at the battle, as it was a moral impossibility that he could, with his convictions, have drawn his sword against his native State, his kindred, his own people.

General Doubleday's repetition of this rumor is as unworthy of the candor of a brave soldier, as it is incompatible with the pains-taking of the accurate historian.

2. The other count in the indictment, viz: that General Armistead, when dying, “saw with a clearer vision, that he had been engaged in an unholy cause, and said to one of our officers, who leaned over him, ‘ tell Hancock I have wronged him, and have wronged my country,’ ” is rather more difficult to meet with positive proof, but we have been able to secure evidence amounting to a moral certainty that this also is utterly untrue.

Major Armistead made his choice calmly, deliberately, and with all of the facts before him. With all of his devotion to the Union, love for “the old flag,” and attachment to his brother officers, he had decided that he could neither fight against the South, nor remain neutral in the great struggle; and he made his perilous journey, reached Richmond, tendered his sword to the Confederacy, and was made Colonel of the 57th Virginia Regiment, and in April, 1862, Brigadier-General.

In all of these positions he served faithfully, and gallantly — none of his comrades ever heard the slightest intimation that he doubted the justice of the cause for which he fought, and it would take proof of the very strongest character to convince those who knew him that he confessed when dying, that he had been battling for an “unholy cause.”

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