I was major to the Third regiment of infantry in that legion, and my brother, Captain Joseph M. Broun, was quartermaster to the same regiment. I authorized my brother to purchase a good serviceable horse of the best Greenbrier stock for our use during the war. After much inquiry and search he came across the horse above mentioned, and I purchased him for $175 (gold value), in the fall of 1861, from Captain James W. Johnston, son of the Mr. Johnston first above mentioned. When the Wise legion was encamped about Meadow Bluff and Big Sewell mountains, I rode this horse, which was then greatly admired in camp for his rapid, springy walk, his high spirit, bold carriage, and muscular strength. He needed neither whip nor spur, and would walk his five or six miles an hour over the rough mountain roads of Western Virginia with his rider sitting firmly in the saddle and holding him in check by a tight rein, such vim and eagerness did he manifest to go right ahead so soon as he was mounted. When General Lee took command of the Wise legion and Floyd brigade that were encamped at and near Big Sewell mountains, in the fall of 1861, he first saw this horse, and took a great fancy to it. He called it his colt, and said that he would use it before the war was over. Whenever the General saw my brother on this horse he had something pleasant to say to him about “my colt,” as he designated this horse. As the winter approached, the climate in the West Virginia mountains caused Rosecranz's army to abandon its position on Big Sewell and retreat westward. General Lee was thereupon ordered to South Carolina. The Third regiment of the Wise legion was subsequently detached from the army in Western Virginia and ordered to the South Carolina coast, where it was known as the Sixtieth Virginia regiment, under Colonel Starke. Upon seeing my brother on this horse near Pocotalipo, in South Carolina, General Lee at once recognized the horse, and again inquired of him pleasantly about “his colt.” My brother then offered him the horse as a gift, which the General promptly declined, and at the same time remarked: “If you will willingly sell me the horse, I will gladly use it for a week or so to learn its qualities.” Thereupon my brother had the horse sent to General Lee's stable. In about a week the horse was returned to my brother, with a note from General Lee stating that the animal suited him, but that he could not longer use so valuable a horse in such times, unless it was his own; that if he (my brother) would not sell,
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