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[212] In June of that year, General E. L. Tracy was elected Captain, then Soria, who was killed by the premature explosion of a cartridge. After the lamented death of Soria, the company languished and lost in numbers and in spirit to such an extent that it seemed to be upon the verge of dissolution.

For five long and uneventful years it clung to its existence, and when its numbers were reduced to thirteen members, I, your humble speaker, on the 19th of March, 1857, was offered and accepted the Captaincy.

From that date the company ‘took heart’ and steadily improved in numbers, discipline, drill and efficiency, both as artillery and infantry, until it became and was acknowledged to be the largest, best drilled and disciplined company in the South.

You must pardon me, my comrades, for inflicting upon you these dry details. They are, however, an essential part of the objects of this, the first re-union we have had, serving to put upon record for the remembrance of the seniors the trials and triumphs of years long gone, and for the juniors that they be informed, so that they may share the pride we all should feel in the past history of this truly historic organization. So, I pray you, bear with me, and you shall shortly hear from more eloquent lips of the stirring scenes through which the several companies of the battalion have passed in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Alabama. You will be made more proud when the distinguished officers, who have been chosen for the task, will fire you with their descriptions of the grand career of the five companies, which has, from defeats and victories warranted the inscription of sixty battles upon their colors.

But I am digressing; let me proceed with my narration.


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