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[140] ‘Their patience under trial, perseverance under toil, and courage under fire have seldom been surpassed by veteran troops.’ After stating that they had done a large portion of the work on the intrenchments at Yorktown as well as on those at Bethel, he said: ‘After the battle they shook hands affectionately with the spades, calling them “clever fellows and good friends.” The men are influenced by high moral and religious sentiments, and their conduct has furnished another example of the great truth that he who fears God will ever do his duty to his country.’

Hill estimated that the enemy had five and a half regiments, or about 5,000 men, in the action, while the Confederates never had more than 300 of their 1,400 engaged at one time; and that the Confederate loss was II wounded, 1 mortally. Stuart reported: ‘Both officers and men under my command behaved with the greatest coolness throughout the whole engagement, and none were injured.’ Major Randolph wrote of his battalion: ‘I can say nothing more of the conduct of its officers and men than to express the high gratification afforded me by their courage, coolness and precision.’ Capt. W. H. Werth stated that when ordered to the left, to meet the Federal movement about a mile below the bridge, he led his command across an open field under a shower of shell and canister, and when he saw the Fifth New York moving down the opposite bank of the stream to cross the ford and turn his left, he ‘at once took double-quick and made the distance of over a mile in about nine minutes, beating the Zouaves and getting in position at the ford in time to cause them to halt.’

In his report General Magruder lauded the conduct of his men, adding: ‘Too much praise cannot be bestowed upon the heroic soldier whom we lost. He was one of four who volunteered to set fire to a house in our front, which was thought to afford protection to our enemy, and advancing alone between the two fires, he fell midway, pierced in the forehead by a musket ball. Henry L. Wyatt is the name of this brave soldier and devoted patriot. He was a member of the brave and gallant First North Carolina regiment.’ It is generally admitted that young Wyatt was the first Confederate soldier killed in action in Virginia during the civil war. ‘The firing of the howitzer batteries,’ Magruder said, ‘was as perfect ’

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