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[225] his success before encountering his adversary. Our revolutionary period supplies us with an example of one of those matchless leaders, who, while he lost the majority of the great battles in which he was engaged, yet, even amidst the hardships and sufferings of a ‘Valley Forge,’ by his forethought, his patience and unselfish patriotism, could win and retain the confidence and admiration of his troops until he led them to the achievement of results which won the admiration of mankind. And our late war gave us the example of one who in all respects was a fitting complement of the former. Among the many able general officers which the exigencies of the late war called to the front, Ramseur is entitled to rank high, and gave the most flattering promises of still greater achievements.

Stephen D. Ramseur, the second child of Jacob A. and Lucy M. Ramseur, had Revolutionary blood in his veins through John Wilfong, a hero who was wounded at King's Mountain and fought at Eutaw Springs. He was born in Lincolnton the 31st day of May, 1837. His surroundings were well calculated to promote a well-developed character and a strong self-relying manhood. His parents were members of the Presbyterian Church, and did not neglect to see their son properly instructed in their religious tenets. They were possessed of ample means for their section, and gave to him the best advantages of social and intellectual improvement, without being exposed to the ‘devices and snares of the outer world.’ To the strong and beautiful character of his mother, Ramseur is said to have been indebted for the greater part of his success in life. In preparing the life of Rev. James H. Thornwell, D. D., Rev. B. M. Palmer, D. D., has assertd a truth which may be classed as a proverb. He says: ‘The pages of history will be searched in vain for a great man who had a fool for his mother.’ In writing of Ramseur's mother the Hon. David Schenck, who married Sallie Wilfong, her second daughter, says: ‘As a young lady she was said to have been beautiful and attractive. I knew her intimately from 1849 to her death. She was a woman of great force of character. To a judgment clear and firm she united gentleness, tenderness and sympathy. Her manners were easy and courteous and fascinating. She was an active and devoted member of the Presbyterian Church, and brought up her children in the teachings of the shorter catechism from their early youth. It was to her that General Ramseur owed the mental and moral foundations of his character.’ Ramseur received his preparatory training in the schools of Lincolnton and in the village of Milton, then he matriculated at Davidson College, entered the Freshman class and passed eighteen

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