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 some years. With the exception of poor eyesight he was in the best of health until about a year before his death, which occurred February 11, 1895, after a short illness.
Brigadier-General James Dearing, of Virginia, was born in Campbell county, April 25, 1840. He was a great-grandson of Col. Charles Lynch, of revolutionary fame, who, through his summary way of treating the Tories, gave his name what is now known as ‘lynch law.’ He was educated at Hanover academy, Virginia, and was appointed a cadet in the United States military academy. He resigned as soon as the adherence of Virginia to the Confederacy was determined upon, and entered the Confederate army. He chose the artillery service at the outset, becoming a lieutenant of the Washington artillery, of New Orleans, a fine organization which created much enthusiasm on its arrival in Virginia. His brilliant service in the artillery led to his promotion to captain of a battery attached to Pickett's division. As lieutenant and captain he participated in the principal battles of the army of Northern Virginia until after Chancellorsville, when he was promoted major, and put in command of a battalion of eighteen guns in the reserve artillery of Longstreet's corps. He reached the battlefield of Gettysburg with Pickett's division, and took part in the tremendous artillery duel which followed on the third day. In the winter of 1863-64, Pickett, having been assigned with the remnant of his division to the district of North Carolina, with headquarters at Petersburg, Va., found himself in need of cavalry, and collecting various companies of mounted men, he wrote to the secretary of war, ‘I shall assign them to the command of Major Dearing, and ask that he may be ordered to the command of these troops, with the temporary rank of colonel. He is a young officer of daring and coolness combined, the very man for the service upon which he is going, a good disciplinarian, and at the same time generally beloved by his men. I am not saying too much in his absence in assuring you that General Longstreet would strongly endorse his claims to promotion had he the opportunity.’ Dearing was at once given this command, though Lee wrote a few days later, in ordering the New Bern expedition, ‘I propose Major Dearing for the command of the artillery of this expedition.’
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