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[196] Brown, Carter and Andrews, with the officers and men of their commands, are numbered as deserving especial commendation.

General Lee never had the time to write a report of the most brilliant campaign ever fought by him with the Army of Northern Virginia, and, in my opinion, the most brilliant that ever was fought by any general, with any army, a campaign, in which the movements of General Lee were so daring and wonderful, that a writer has said, they must have reminded General Grant of what a martinet Austrian general once said of Napoleon. On one occasion when asked by a French officer what he thought of the state of the war, he replied:

Nothing could be worse on your side. Here you have a youth who knows nothing of the rules of war. To-day he is in our rear, to morrow on our flank, next day in our front. Such gross violations of the principles of the art of war are not to be supported.

I refer, of course, to the campaign against Grant, from the Rapidan to Petersburg, in which Swinton says the Army of Northern Virginia killed and wounded more of the enemy than it had men in its ranks.

Although this campaign is teeming with the splendid work of the artillery from the beginning to the end I can only refer to one of its performances. General Ewell in speaking of the battle of the 18th May, 1864, at Spottsylvania courthouse, says:

‘When well within range General Long opened upon them with thirty pieces of artillery which, with the fire of our skirmishers, broke and drove them back with severe loss. We afterwards learned that they were two fresh divisions nearly ten thousand strong, just come up from the rear.’

And it is a remarkable fact in the history of the Army of Northern Virginia that the first gun fired on Virginia soil, as well as the last fired by that army, was fired by the artillery.

Can the record of any men be more brilliant in all the achievements of manhood than that I have just read in your hearing? It was on the stout hearts and strong and willing arm of ‘men of this metal’ that Lee and Jackson and the other great leaders of our armies learned to lean for support, and from whose deeds of valor, so well directed by them, these leaders snatched a fame which has ‘echoed around the world.’ And some of these old artillerists constitute the bulwarks of society in this Southland to-day.

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