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[218] to have heard this memorable recital from his lips on such an occasion. For to few men has it been given to guide so long and successfully the destinies of a military command, to keep it ever unsurpassed in equipment, discipline and standing, to lead it in such gallant style to a people's defence, and to live to see it accomplish and enjoy the fame that rests to-day upon our banners.

We of the second quota, organized away from his immediate care, who never fought under his eye or alongside of our seniors; we also recognize his parental influence, and recollect how much of military virtue we had to cultivate to attain the standard he had established for the corps. We rejoice that he has lived to meet us on this day; and here at this, the first reunion of the five companies, the first general review of the battalion in its past and present—before reporting for the Washington Artillery, Army of Tennessee—as their senior surviving officer, in their name—I salute you, Colonel Walton, in all soldierly and filial appreciation.

Nine months had elapsed since the departure of the four companies, when the Confederacy, in an hour of supreme distress, called again upon Louisiana. Immediately from that same arsenal on Girod street a fifth company of the battalion sprang into the arena and was thrown to the front in Tennessee. It came armed cap-a-pie, nearly excelling its predecessors in thoroughness of equipment, of instruction, of discipline. In its ranks were old members—brothers, relatives, friends of the boys in Virginia, around whom had gathered the choicest remaining spirits among our city's youth, allured by the fascination of a glorious name, and the exalted requisites of courage that were demanded of them to sustain it. Such material had met with prompt military education and assistance, and though from the company's fullness of means and numbers several drafts had been poured into the quota in Virginia, still on that 18th of March, 1862, it stood magnificent in preparation, and 156 rank and file for departure.

How glorious in appearance–stretched across that hall, in all the pomp of handsome uniforms, splendid physique, martial bearing and determined men! How proud their officers, as they scanned the line! And, thank God, that feeling went on increasing unto the end. No name appeared too glorious to be left in their keeping; no cause too sacred to be staked upon their devotion.

That day one month—and Shiloh's bloody field has seen them under baptismal fire—and the Fifth Company has placed its first sacrificial offering upon their country's altar! 'Tis Demeritt, and Hartnett, and Green, and Giffen, and O'Donnell, and Long yielding


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