An hour before the appointed time that splendid company— mustering considerably more than its previous roll strength, for a number of new recruits had enlisted in its ranks—marched to the depot where an immense crowd had assembled to see them off. An aged minister of the gospel (now gone to his reward) spoke words of earnest counsel, and led in a fervent prayer that the God of Jacob might go forth with these young men, keep them in the way whither they went, and bring them back to their homes in peace and safety—but, above all, that he would shield them from the vices of the camp and lead them into paths of righteousness.
The man of God is interrupted by the shrill whistle of the iron horse—the train dashes up to the depot—all are soon aboard, and, amid tender farewells and suppressed sobs of anxious friends, and the waving of handkerchiefs and vociferous cheers by the vast crowd, those patriot-soldiers hurry forth at the bidding of their loved and honored Virginia
they were met by companies from Augusta
, and two companies of students from the University of Virginia, who marched forth from those classic shades to illustrate a bright page in the history of their Alma Mater
and other counties along the route swelled their numbers as they rushed to the capture of Harper's Ferry
and the defence of the border.
The call of Virginia
now echoes through the land—from seaboard to mountain-valley, from Alleghany
, from the Potomac
to the North Carolina
border, the tramp of her sons is heard.
, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida
catch the sound, and her sons in every clime heed the call of their Mother State.
The farmer leaves his plow in the furrow, the mechanic his job unfinished, the merchant his books unposted, the lawyer his brief unargued, the physician his patient unattended, the professor his chair unfilled, the student his classes, and the preacher his pulpit, and there rush to our northern frontier, not Hessian or Milesian mercenaries, not men bought up for so much ‘bounty money,’ but the wealth, the intelligence, the refinement and culture, the virtue and patriotism, the very flower of our Southern youth and manhood.
Thus was formed what was afterwards called the Army of