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[592] leadership. After taking a prominent part in the Virginia convention of 1861, he offered his military services, and was promptly commissioned lieutenant-colonel, and ordered by General Lee to call out, and muster in the volunteer forces in the vicinity of Staunton, including the mountain counties, for Johnston's army. This work done he was assigned to the Twenty-seventh regiment, which he commanded at First Manassas, where he had a gallant part in earning the title of the ‘Stonewall brigade.’ He was soon afterward promoted colonel, and in this rank served with Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah valley through the winter and spring of 1861-62. In Jackson's report of the battle of Kernstown he related that ‘Col. John Echols with his regiment, With skirmishers thrown forward, kept in advance and opened the infantry engagement, in which it was supported by the Twenty-first. Well did these two regiments do their duty, driving back the enemy twice in quick succession. Soon a severe wound compelled the noble leader of the Twenty-seventh to leave the field.’ This wound, received March 23d, disabled him for some time. His gallantry was recognized by promotion to brigadiergen-eral in April, 1862, and a few months later he was assigned to command of a brigade of the army of Western Virginia, with which he was afterward prominently identified. He participated as a brigade commander in Loring's occupation of the Kanawha valley in September, and after Loring had withdrawn to the mountains, Echols was assigned to the command of the army of the department of Western Virginia, superseding Loring. He promptly reoccupied Charleston, but was again compelled to retire before superior forces. He resigned his department command in the spring of 1863, and during the following summer served upon the court of inquiry held at Richmond to investigate the cause of the fall of Vicksburg, Gens. Howell Cobb and Robert Ransom being the other members. Later in the year he commanded the Confederate forces in the battle of Droop Mountain, West Virginia, a hard-fought contest, in which his command, though forced to retire; gave an effectual check to the Federal plans. In May, 1864, he commanded Breckinridge's right wing at the successful battle of New Market, in the Valley; and was then called with his brigade to Lee's army on the Cold Harbor line, where he

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