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Mark the language: ‘I consider its brigade and regimental commanders the best of their respective grades in the army.’ What army? The Army of Northern Virginia! The best on the continent! Who sends a message to Lee about Ramseur that is worthy to be repeated to the Governor of the State? Stonewall Jackson, from his bed of anguish. No higher eulogy could be pronounced.

After the battle of Chancellorsville, Ramseur, with his brigade, accompanied the army of Lee in its invasion of Pennsylvania. In connection with Rodes' division, in the first day's fight at Gettysburg they secured the elevated ridge known as Oak Hill, which was the key-note of the entire field. Swinton, in his ‘Army of the Potomac,’ says: ‘When towards three o'clock a general advance was made by the Confederates, Rodes speedily broke through the Union centre, carrying away the right of the First corps and the left of the Eleventh, and, entering the interval between them, disrupted the whole line.’ The Federal troops fell back in much disorder, and were pursued by our troops through the town of Gettysburg. This was our opportunity to have seized the heights, the subsequent assaults on which proved so disastrous to us during the progress of this battle. Ramseur urged that the pursuit should be continued until Cemetery Heights were in our possession. The light of subsequent events shows that he was clearly in the right. Our friends in Virginia are fond of boasting of the advanced position of their troops at Gettysburg. It is a thing to be boasted of. Her sons were gallant and martial, and far be it from me to detract one title from the fame to which they are entitled, yet it is but an act of justice to call attention to the fact that the only two brigades which entered the works of Cemetery Heights on the second day of the battle were Hoke's North Carolina and Hays' Louisiana brigades. The former was then under the command of that gallant soldier and accomplished gentleman, Colonel Isaac E. Avery, who lost his life on this occasion while gallantly leading his brigade on the heights on the 2d of July. In his report of this battle, Early says:

As soon as Johnson became warmly engaged, which was a little before dusk, I ordered Hays and Avery to advance and carry the works on the heights in front. These troops advanced in gallant style to the attack, passing over the ridge in front of them under a heavy artillery fire, and there crossing a hollow between that and Cemetery Hill, and moving up this hill in the face of at least two lines

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