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[131] brother, whom he had always loved and reverenced, almost as he did his father. This company was composed almost exclusively of those then connected with the college, or who were recent graduates of the college. It consisted of seventy-two in the aggregate, more than half of whom were professors of religion, and about one-fourth of whom were candidates for the ministry. It embraced an amount of intellectual and moral worth rarely equalled in any military company. On the morning of the 8th of June, 1861, they were formed in front of the Court House in Lexington. The Court House square, the main street, the windows of the houses, were crowded with the citizens of the town and of the surrounding country. They were well drilled, handsomely equipped, and made a very imposing appearance. A beautiful Confederate flag, wrought by the hands of the ladies of Falling Spring congregation, was presented in very appropriate terms by the Rev. John Miller, and received in a few pertinent words by Captain White. A brief address was then made to them, and prayer offered for them and their invaded State, by the father of the captain; after which the command was given, and with solemn step they marched away amidst the sighs and tears of the whole community. A large number in carriages, on horseback, and on foot, followed in their rear to the river, a mile below the town; then returning entered the Presbyterian Church, where prayer and praise were offered to the God of grace, who is also the God of battles.

In the first battle of Manassas, such was the gallantry displayed by this company, that they won from General Jackson the designation of “more than brave young men.” Twelve of them have fallen in battle. Seven have died of disease contracted in camp. Fourteen have been wounded in action. They have been in thirteen pitched battles, and many combats. in a period of eighteen months; and on no occasion have they failed to evince a high order of courage. From the casualties of battle and disease they are now commanded by their fourth captain.

As they awaited orders at Staunton, Hugh wrote to his father:

“Some hearts, it may be, are now swelling with the desire for military distinction, and some heads becoming dizzy with anticipations of earthly glory. But I confess I am either too cowardly or too stupid to belong to either class. They may win the laurels, provided only that our cause triumphs.”

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