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[123] been at noon on the preceding day. Some were in line without even one commissioned officer, and others with but the normal strength of a single company. For example, as attested by the official record, the Twenty-sixth North Carolina entered the battle with 800 rank and file, and, although none were captured, but eighty answered to their names at the close of the day. Colonel Henry K. Burgwyn, Jr., who commanded it, and all the remaining field officers were killed. Capt. H. C. Albright, who took command of it after the battle, was its only commissioned officer left unwounded. Company H, of the same regiment, went in with eighty-four men and three officers, and came out with but one man standing upon his feet, all the others having been killed or wounded. I knew the sole unstricken survivor well. He was Private John Secrest, a robust young farmer of Mecklenburg county, North Carolina, and I regret to state that, instead of being grateful to Providence for having plucked him as a brand from the burning, he grumbled loudly over the loss of one of his shoes, torn from his foot by a grapeshot that struck the heel while he was falling back in good order.

Zzzcavalry Commander.

The fifty squadrons of horses that were awaiting orders in a dreamy half sleep were commanded by Brigadier-General Wade Hampton. He was the beau-ideal of a cavalry commander; of tall, heroic form, a superb horseman, brave and enterprising without being rash, and with daring always tempered by sound judgment. He was unquestionably the strongest man in the Confederate service, and the only one in either army who, enlisting as a private soldier, rose to the rank of lieutenant-general. But, although a judicious commander, he was possessed of a knightly spirit of adventure, and as adventures come to the adventurous, his brilliant military career was marked by many thrilling personal experiences.

But a brave heart is no buckler against a steel blade, as General Hampton realized that morning. Hearing a bullet hiss just over his head, he turned his face toward the belt of open woods on his left in time to see the flash of a gun at a point about three hundred yards away, and then he heard another leaden messenger cut the air near him. He at once rode at a brisk trot in the direction of the timber to find out the early bird of the sharpshooters who thus broke upon the quiet of the morning with his shrill note of battle. When he had ridden about one hundred and seventy-five yards at a


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