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[588]

Brigadier-General Montgomery D. Corse

Brigadier-General Montgomery D. Corse was born at Alexandria, D. C., March 14, 1816, and after receiving an academic education entered business with his father at his native city. Taking a prominent part in the organization of local militia at the time of the Texas troubles, he served through the Mexican war as captain of Company B, First regiment Virginia volunteers. Early in 1849 he sailed to California, and during the opening of the gold fields was occupied there in various ways, including service as captain of the Sutter Rifles, of Sacramento city, until 1856, when he returned to Alexandria and formed a partnership with his brother in the banking business. In 1860 he organized the Old Dominion Rifles at Alexandria, and later in the year became major of the battalion which included the Alexandria Riflemen, Capt. Morton Marye, the Mount Vernon Guard, his own company under Capt. Arthur Herbert, and the Alexandria artillery, Capt. Delaware Kemper. Major Corse served as assistant adjutantgen-eral until the evacuation of Alexandria, and was then assigned with his battalion to the Seventeenth Virginia regiment, of which he was promoted colonel. In Longstreet's, later Kemper's brigade, he took part in the affair at Blackburn's ford and the battles of Manassas, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines, and the Seven Days fighting before Richmond. In the second battle of Manassas he commanded the brigade, and was slightly wounded, but continued on duty; fought at Boonsboro, receiving a second wound; and led the remnant of his regiment, 56 men, in the battle of Sharpsburg. The story of their devotion is told by the fact that but seven remained in the ranks at the end of the fight—Maj. Arthur Herbert, Lieut. Thomas Perry, and five privates. Colonel Corse was severely wounded and for a time lay within the enemy's lines, but was recovered by an advance of the Confederate troops. In October, General Kemper forwarded to the secretary of war two battle-flags captured by the Seventeenth regiment, asking that they be preserved with some honorable mention of the brave men commanded by Colonel Corse, ‘by whose splendid gallantry the trophies were captured.’ Upon this communication General Longstreet endorsed: ‘Colonel Corse is one of the most gallant and worthy officers in this army. He and his regiment have been distinguished ’

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