accompanied his regiment on its march northward through North Carolina
They marched with inadequate supplies, without proper clothing, and amid increasing opposition.
At Averysborough, North Carolina
, they first encountered the enemy in force, on the morning of March 16, 1865.
The action was thus described by an eyewitness:—
At about seven A. M., on the 16th, our brigade, with skirmishers in front and cavalry on both flanks, advanced over the works, and had gone but a short distance when we met the enemy's skirmish line.
This was driven about a mile, though it contested the ground with some spirit; but at that distance we encountered a line of battle, with artillery, and our force being inadequate to break it, we were forced to pause and wait for troops to come up.
It was on our skirmish line, which was but a short distance in advance, that Captain Grafton was killed.
The enemy was so near and his fire so close, that it required the greatest exertion to hold him until the necessary relief should arrive to attack his position.
Captain Grafton had command of about twenty men,—his own company and another,—and worked hard with them against heavy odds until he was struck in the leg. He started to the rear; but, in his anxiety to do his whole duty, turned back to give some last instructions to his men, and received a mortal wound in the neck.
He was seen staggering back, and was helped to the rear; but he never spoke, and died in a few minutes.
The death of Captain Grafton
was deeply felt, not merely in