fact that will always stand out boldly on the pages of history, and the fame of the brigade for its part in this brilliant action, increasing as time rolls on, will shine out in the imperishable records of the late war long after its actors shall have passed away.
was an impetuous, dashing man, among the bravest of the brave; Mahone
, cool, courageous and able, was by nature fitted for generalship as few men are, and none knew this better than the men of his command.
Wherever he led or placed them, they always felt a moral certainty that they were being properly led or placed, either to inflict the most damage on the enemy or to have the enemy inflict the least damage on them.
Accordingly, on the morning of the charge at the Crater, there was not a man in the brigade, knowing that General Mahone
was present, personally superintending and directing the movement, that did not feel that we were to be properly and skilfully handled, and would be put in just when and where the most effective service could be rendered.
This impression of these two commanders of the old brigade, whose names have passed into history along with that of the command, I have felt that justice requires that I should here record.
I feel, too, that I should not pass in silence the gallant southerner, Captain V. J. Girardey
, who was serving on General Mahone
's staff at the time of the action, and won by his conduct the commission of a brigadier-general, dating from the 30th of July, 1864, and whose splendid conduct on this and previous occasions had commanded the admiration of all of the men of our brigade.
Nor should I pass in silence the daring deeds of Privates Dean
, of the Twelfth.
As the line was forming for the charge, each picked out and pointed to a stand of Federal colors and said he meant to have it. On the charge, before reaching the works, Valentine
received a wound from which he never recovered, and Dean
Both men were members of the Petersburg
I have now, comrades, finished my story of the Crater—not, however, without a painful sense that as a record of this historic battle it is very incomplete.
Many brave and gallant deeds done by men on both sides have not been mentioned.
To Captain McCabe
's splendid narrative, already mentioned, to the Century
articles and other documents from which I have so freely drawn, and to the many old soldiers who participated in the action, yet alive, I must refer for much that I have necessarily omitted, as for instance, for such deeds of valor as those of Captain Wallace Broadbent
, on the Confederate