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[348] the chief cause of these feats. Patience and courage did much; race stamina did much. I place above any single influence that of the wives, mothers, and daughters of the South land. When the throne of Justinian trembled under the tread of revolting soldiers his wife rallied his irresolution with these words: ‘If flight were the only means of safety, yet I should disdain to fly. Death is the condition of our birth, but they who have reigned should never survive the loss of dignity and dominion. I implore heaven that I may never be seen a day without my diadem and purple. That I may no longer behold the light when I cease to be saluted with the name of Queen. If you resolve, O Caesar to fly—you have treasures—behold the sea, you have ships—but tremble lest the desire of life should expose you to wretched exile and ignominious death. For my own part I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: That the throne is a glorious sepulchre.’

While the two armies were struggling in the awful shadow of the horse-shoe in General Lee's line, about 2 o'clock in the afternoon of May 12th, 1864, word came down the line from our side, ‘We are out of ammunition; send us cartridges. We cannot hold the works without ammunition.’ I called for volunteers out of my command to try the perilous task of carrying the desired help to our comrades. At this time the great pressure of the enemy on our immediate brigade front was broken. John W. McGregor of Anson county, of immediate highland Scotch extraction, Sergeant Ingram, Company K, of Wake county, Private Dixion of Cleveland county, Private Cox of Anson county, and Private Workman at once volunteered. They carried three boxes of ammunition to the line then held by the brigade of General Harris, of Mississippi. The General was surrounded by his staff and couriers. Sergeant McGregor told him that he and his comrades had brought the ammunition, and General Harris asked if no one would carry the cartridges into his line. None of the command answered. McGregor and Workman bore one box of it to the outer lines, where scarcely five feet of hastily constructed works separated the two lines of battle. A common soldier of Harris' brigade ran out of the line, and seizing the other boxes bore them into the works.

Of the five men of the Fourteenth North Carolina regiment who volunteered for this forlorn hope, Dixon was killed, and Cox, Ingram and McGregor were wounded.

I have ventured to relate this incident because two of the men belonged to Wake county, and because it was the work of men of the

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John W. McGregor (4)
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