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“ [442] him. With my own ears I have heard the great Jackson speak in his praise, and his name and daring deeds are still themes around the camp-fire of his regiment.” To this we add the eloquent words of another friend: “The very soul of the Confederacy was in him.”

Such was the character, most briefly depicted, of Colonel Randolph, the soldier. He was brave among the bravest; shrunk from nothing in his path; but this mere courage of the soldier was the least beautiful of his traits. Beneath the gray coat which defined the simple outer man, if we may so express it, was the human being of heart, so warm, true, generous, and noble, that those who knew him best may almost be said to have thought least of him as a mere soldier; valuing more the character of the man in his private life than the faculties and fame of the officer. Of this private and unofficial character, the writer of this page had ample knowledge; and, going back today in memory to the past, can recall no human being, among all encountered in this world, endowed with qualities more calculated to endear one to his species. Firm in his loves and friendships, utterly true and reliable, so that you could always count upon his word; making no professions which he did not feel; cool, resolute, determined to find what was right, and to pursue it careless of consequences; giving his heart with his hand, scorning falsehood, and hating it with a perfect hatred; he was a true man in the fullest sense of that word.

Of the mere intellectual faculties, those who knew him had a very high estimate. His mind was one of extraordinary vigor, and he saw clearly into every subject, possessing in no ordinary degree that “judicial intellect” which makes great lawyers and celebrated judges. At the bar he must have taken a very high rank.

Of Colonel Randolph in his private character, too, much might be said. A friend writes: “He had the most untiring and dauntless energy I ever saw, the clearest views of complicated questions, and withal, such a grand and noble simplicity of character and total freedom from guile, that it brings tears to my dim eyes to think of him as I saw him last, so hopeful, so selfreliant, so brave, so tender, so true.” A hundred such passages might be quoted, referring to the individual at every period of his life, from the time when, at Hanover Academy, Mr. Lewis Coleman spoke of him to his old pastor as “a magnificent boy,”

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William W. Randolph (2)
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