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 Brigadier-General G. Moxley Sorrel, a native of Georgia, when the war between the Northern and Southern States of the Union began, entered the Confederate service as captain on the staff of Gen. James Longstreet, and was present at the first battle of Bull Run. On September 1st he was appointed acting adjutant-general of Longstreet's brigade. In this capacity he acted throughout the winter of 1861 in Virginia, and in the campaign of 1862, including the battles of Williamsburg and Seven Pines and the battles around Richmond. On July 24, 1861, he was commissioned major and was appointed acting adjutant-general of Longstreet's division. At the battle of Sharpsburg, when the Confederate center had been stripped of troops to help their hard-pressed left, General Longstreet noticed that a strong column of the enemy was advancing against this very point, held by one small regiment, Cooke's Twenty-seventh North Carolina, which was without cartridges. Two pieces of the Washington artillery were there, but most of the gunners had been killed or wounded. Longstreet and his staff dismounted, and, while the general held the horses, the staff officers, Majors Fairfax and Sorrel and Captain Latrobe, served the guns, keeping the enemy in check until help came, when the Federals were repulsed and the center saved from an attack which would have ruined Lee's army. Not long before the battle of Gettysburg (June 23, 1863), Major Sorrel was promoted to lieutenant-colonel. As acting adjutant-general of Longstreet's corps he was in the battle of Gettysburg, and in September followed his chief to Georgia. A thrilling incident and narrow escape during the Chickamauga campaign are thus narrated by General Longstreet: ‘As soon as our horses could be saddled we started, Lieutenant-Colonels Sorrel and Manning and myself, to find the headquarters of the commanding general. We were told to follow the main road, and did so, though there were many men coming into that road from our right bearing the wounded of the day's battle. ’
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