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[214] possibilities and realities which then were presented for the consideration of the people of the South. The shrill voice of war, with all its anticipated horrors, was even then heard resounding through all the Southern States. The bombardment and fall of Sumter and the universal rush to arms, North and South, had not then occurred.

The startling announcement made by Senator Benjamin on the occasion of the presentation of a magnificent stand of colors to the battalion, by the ladies of New Orleans, on February 22, 1861, that war was inevitable, and warning all men to go home and prepare for the grand ordeal, the end of which no one could know, made a deep and solemn impression upon the multitude present to witness the presentation ceremonies. The Washington Artillery bore their colors proudly through the streets of the city that evening. Promptly on the day following they began their earnest preparation for service in the field.

On May 3d, the battalion, then in all respects prepared, composed of four full companies, authorized me, then a Major of Artillery, by a unanimous vote, to tender their services to the President of the Confederate States for the war, which was done in a communication of that date to the Hon.. J. P. Benjamin. On May 13th, after some correspondence by letters and telegraph, as to the exact character of the command, whether it was mounted or horse artillery, the following final dispatch was sent and answer received:

The Battalion Washington Artillery Volunteers for the war. Captain E. A. Palfrey and Mr. David Urquhart, of the battalion, will leave to-morrow for Montgomery; directed to report to the Secretary of War for orders.

J. B. Walton, Major Commanding.

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