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[222] soon follows. We furl our flag in tears, and Slocomb leads us home to weeping households, desolated firesides, and ruined estates.

Such is the hurried report of the services of the Fifth Company in their performance. Soldiers never showed more courage, more endurance, more reliability, more cheerfulness, more discipline, more devotion, more fortitude. Ever ready, ever complete in equipment and numbers, their horses superbly kept, ambitious of distinction, they were always at the front on the breach in active service, ever steady and resolute however went the day, no danger could move and no disaster could dismay them. In the annals of the Army of Tennessee they bear a proud name among the proudest–a household word.

To the battalion's fame, they bring a harvest of laurels, won through the most trying and sanguinary campaigns of our great war. To the battalion flag they add the names of over forty battles, as desperate, as sanguinary as ever fought. On our monumental shaft and roll of honor, they have inscribed the names of fifty heroes, as pure, as gallant, as devoted as ever died in a sacred cause. They have made the Washinton Artillery the only organization legendary with the troops of the Army of Tennessee, as it is with the troops of the Army of Northern Virginia. And the rivalry is not ended; they will push it in perpetuating the present organization, that our sons and latest descendant may belong to it, and proudly say: ‘Our fathers made the name of the Washington Artillery, in the cause of the South, on every battle-field of the Confederacy.’

And admonished by the untimely fate of so many who survived our companies, and since have fallen in the battle of life, shall I not take advantage of this occasion to speak to you, the representatives of the survivors of the Washington Artillery, here in the presence of your brothers of Virginia? Can I refrain to call upon you, boys of the Fifth Company, to rise, that I may say to them, Here stand the remnants of 380 men, who carried the banner of the Washington Artillery in equal glory and devotion with you. Can I refrain to thank you for your unfailing confidence and devotion to your officers; to express to you their feelings of admiration and love; to tell you that they drew courage, energy, their reward, their pride, from your gallant acts, your heroic bearing, your friendly approbation? Boys of the Fifth Company, the spirits of Slocomb, Vaught and Blair at this moment marshal our brave ‘who roam enfranchised,’ and reecho my words, rejoicing at this first reunion of the Fifth and its brothers of Virginia. May God bless you.

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Cuthbret H. Slocomb (4)
Vaught (2)
Francis Preston Blair (2)
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