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[645] charge of the brigade November 15, 1862. His letters show that owing to a deep sense of the responsibilities of the rank and a modest estimate of his own qualifications, he accepted the command with much reluctance; but his subsequent record vindicated Jackson's judgment. He commanded the brigade in but two great battles, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. At the former engagement he handled his troops with skill and promptness, and during part of the 13th occupied the front line of the division of General Taliaferro, by whom he was particularly mentioned in official report. On May 2, 1863, during Jackson's flank movement he was stationed to guard an important point, the Germanna junction, from which he was called to the main line the following night, after Jackson had fallen and the command had devolved upon Stuart. Early in the morning of Sunday, May 3d, the attack was renewed with irresistible vigor, and Paxton led his men through the dense woods against the Federal position. Dismounting, he marched on foot in the front line of his brigade until they came within the enemy's fire, when he was instantly killed by a shot through the breast. Dr. R. L. Dabney relates that when the news of General Paxton's death was conveyed to General Jackson, then on his deathbed, the great commander showed much emotion, ‘and spoke in serious and tender strain of the genius and virtues of that officer.’ His loss was mentioned with appreciative reference to his ability and courage in the official report of General Lee. At the time of his death he was thirty-five years of age. His remains now lie within a few feet of his chief in Lexington cemetery.


Brigadier-General William Henry Fitzhugh Payne

Brigadier-General William Henry Fitzhugh Payne, a distinguished cavalry commander of the army of Northern Virginia, was born at Clifton, the homestead of his family in Virginia, January 27, 1830. His family, prominently associated with the history of the Old Dominion, was founded in America by John Payne, who with his brother William came to the colony in 1620. Fourth in descent from John Payne was Capt. William Payne, who was born in 1755 at Wakefield, Westmoreland county, the birthplace of George Washington. He did an extensive business as a merchant at Falmouth and Fredericksburg, served three years in the Continental army, including

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