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 division. During the remainder of the war period he played an important part in Confederate affairs in Texas, for some time performing the duties of chief of staff.
Brigadier-General William E. Starke went to the assistance of Gen. R. S. Garnett at Laurel hill, early in July, 1861, as colonel, and served as his aide-de-camp in the disastrous retreat on the Cheat river. His coolness and judgment in the midst of the confusion that followed the death of General Garnett were highly commended by Colonel Taliaferro, who succeeded to command. Subsequently he was put in command of the Sixtieth Virginia regiment, and sent to Lewisburg, to the support of General Floyd, whence, in December, he was ordered to accompany General Donelson's brigade to Bowling Green, Ky. It appears, however, that he was instead, attached to General Wise's command, stationed at Goldsboro, N. C. During the Seven Days campaign in Virginia he commanded his regiment in Field's brigade, and was commended for gallantry, and his promotion to brigadier-general followed early in August, 1862. Reporting for duty to General Jackson, he was assigned to command of the Second Louisiana brigade and marched with it to Manassas. In that campaign he took command of the Stonewall division, after General Taliaferro was wounded on the 28th. He was with Jackson at the capture of Harper's Ferry, and at Sharpsburg was called on again to take command of the division, after the fall of J. R. Jones. Soon afterward he himself fell mortally wounded, pierced by three minie balls, and survived but an hour. Gen. Bradley T. Johnson, in reporting the battle of Second Manassas, said: ‘I cannot forbear doing but scant justice to a gallant soldier now no more. It was my fortune during the two days of battle, during which he commanded the division, to be thrown constantly in contact with Brigadier-General Starke. The buoyant dash with which he led his brigade into the most withering fire on Friday, though then in command of the division; the force he showed in the handling of this command the coolness and judgment which distinguished him in action, made him to me a marked man, and I regretted his early death as a great loss to the army and the cause.’ His name deserves lasting remembrance in association with the Stonewall division.
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