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 Toombs' brigade of the army in Virginia. In little more than a year from his enlistment he was promoted to brigadier-general, and he was frequently in command of Hood's famous division of the First corps, participating with gallantry in the battles of Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness, Thoroughfare Gap, Malvern Hill, Lookout Valley, Fort Loudon, Knoxville, Petersburg, Farmville and other bloody engagements.1 He was greatly distinguished for coolness and daring, and particularly for a sturdy steadfastness, which won for him the admiring title of ‘Old Rock.’ In the second day's fight at the Wilderness he was severely wounded through the shoulder. He was in command of his Georgia brigade at the surrender of General Lee's army, and though greatly reduced in numbers, it was in fine discipline and ready for duty, ‘all present or accounted for.’ At the close of the war he returned to Columbus and resumed the practice of his profession, which was large and lucrative. During the remainder of his life he was as loyal to his oath of allegiance as he had been true to his convictions of right and his sense of duty in espousing the Confederate cause. General Benning was one of Nature's noblemen, formed in her very finest mould and most lavish prodigality. As an attorney he was open, candid and fair; as a jurist, spotless and impartial; as a warrior and patriot, brave, disinterested and sincere; and as a man and citizen, his whole life produced in those who knew him the constant vibration of those chords which answer to all that is true and noble and generous and manly. He was a fine specimen
1 Col. James W. Waddell, of the Twentieth Georgia, states in a touching and eloquent tribute to his friend and old commander that ‘Later on in the war he rose to the rank of major-general. Among the last official autographs of John C. Breckinridge was his signature, as secretary of war, to Benning's commission. Alas! both of them have crossed over the river now, but it is a consolation to believe that neither wars nor rumors of wars are known or heard of beyond its banks.’
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