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 awake to the demands of duty. He had the instinctive knowledge of the situation that belongs to the soldierly genius, and the constant readiness to act on the instant that wins battles against inertia and slothfulness. But he Was never known fully while he lived. He was careless of how lightheartedness and gayety may be misjudged, and it was left to his friends after his death to tell that he indulged in none of the vices supposed to be habitual with soldiers, was never profane, and even abstained from card-playing. He was a faithful husband and father, and altogether one of the purest of men, as well as the bravest. One of these true friends, John Esten Cooke, in describing his last moments, has written: “As his life had been one of earnest devotion to the cause in which he believed, so his last hours were tranquil, his confidence in the mercy of heaven unfailing. When he was asked how he felt, he said, ‘Easy, but willing to die, if God and my country think I have done my duty.’ His last words were: ‘I am going fast now; I am resigned. God's will be done.’ As he uttered these words he expired.”
Major-General William Booth Taliaferro, a representative of an old and famous Virginia family, was born at Belleville, Gloucester county, Va., December 28, 1822. He was educated at Harvard college and William and Mary, being graduated at the latter institution in 1841. His activity was directed to a military channel by the Mexican war, and on April 9, 1847, he became captain of a company of the Eleventh United States infantry. He was promoted major August 12th, and held this rank during the following year, his command being disbanded August, 1848. He then returned to the pursuits of civil life, and was one of the Democratic presidential electors in 1856, but continued to be prominent in military affairs and commanded the State forces at the time of John Brown's raid. As major-general of Virginia militia, he took command at Norfolk on April 18, 186, and later with the rank of colonel was assigned to the post and troops at Gloucester point, opposite Yorktown. Subsequently he marched with the Twenty-third Virginia regiment to reinforce General Garnett in West Virginia. During the retreat from Laurel hill, Colonel Taliaferro was in command of the rear guard which gallantly contested the
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