[By some mistake the following paragraphs at the beginning of General Bratton
's address on Seven Pines
were omitted in the copy sent us, and we insert them here as containing a deserved tribute from a gallant soldier to his dead comrade:]
My comrades,—You have selected for your reunion this year a spot hallowed to us by the life-blood of dead comrades, and on which the blood of many of us still living was freely poured.
The committee, in extending your invitation to be present with you here, did not, in accordance with the rules of your Association, designate the subject, but left it to my discretion.
I need not say that the place of meeting settled that question, and I shall avail myself of this occasion to meet an obligation long felt, and perform a long deferred duty to the officers and men of the regiment that I had the honor to command on this bloody field.
I shall endeavor to tell the story of your achievements in the battle of Seven Pines
, as it would have been told in my official report of that action, had it been in my
power to have rendered that report.
But before entering upon that story it is a melancholy pleasure to be able to say that one of the truest soldiers and most distinguished fighters developed by the war felt the same obligation, and only a short time before his death expressed unqualified admiration for your fighting on this field, which he was pleased to term ‘unsurpassed,’ and his intention, even at that late date, to put on record as an act of justice what he knew of it. He, too, failed to make any official report of this battle.
It is needless to say that I allude to our Brigadier-General
, under whose immediate direction we fought that day. If anything could add to our regret for the loss of our brave old commander, this loss of his direct testimony would.
He had seen and done so much hard and effective fighting that there was no higher authority on that subject than the modest, genial gentleman, but bold and intrepid soldier, who, in an army unsurpassed in chivalric courage, and in the dash and skill of its officers, won for himself the soubriquet of ‘Fighting Dick Anderson