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[122] bridges were very valuable, for they gave the only way by rail to the valley of Virginia. Colonel Johnson with his forces fought the enemy from hill-top to hill-top all the way from Wickham's back to the Virginia Central bridges, in hopes that reinforcements would be sent and thus the bridges saved, for he kept General Lee advised of his movements all day and he knew the conditions accurately. But no reinforcements came. At the very last effort, a desperate charge, Ridgely Brown was shot through the middle of the forehead and died without speaking a word. He was the bravest, the purest, the gentlest man from Maryland who died for liberty in that four years war. His commanding officer recorded the estimation in which he was held by officers and men in these appropriate terms:

General order no. 26.

Headquarters Maryland Line, June 6, 1864.
Lieut.-Col. Ridgely Brown, commanding First Maryland cavalry, fell in battle on the 1st instant near the South Anna. He died as a soldier prefers to die, leading a victorious charge.

As an officer, kind and careful; as a soldier, brave and true; as a gentleman, chivalrous; as a Christian, gentle and modest; no one in the Confederate army surpassed him in the hold he had on the hearts of his men and the place in the esteem of his superiors. Of the rich blood that Maryland has lavished on every battle field, none is more precious than his and that of our other brave comrades in arms who fell in the four days previous, on the hill sides of Hanover. His command has lost a friend most steadfast, but his commanding officer is deprived of an assistant invaluable. To the first he was ever as careful as a father, to the latter as true as a brother.

In token of respect for his memory the colors of the different regiments of this command will be draped and the officers wear the usual badge of military mourning for thirty days.

By order of Col. Bradley T. Johnson,

George W. Booth, A. A. G.

The Maryland cavalry under Colonel Johnson took a

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