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 in common with our veteran comrades throughout the whole South, we have to mourn an intrepid soldier, a resolute and sagacious captain, a sturdy patriot, whose name must be forever associated with the most brilliant achievements of that glorious army to which we belonged. A sincere lover of the Union, as formed by the fathers of the Republic, he exerted his commanding abilities in the Virginia convention of 1861 to prevent the adoption of the ‘Ordinance of Secession.’ But when once that momentous step had been taken, he ‘paused not to cavil,’ but promptly offered his sword to his mother-state, threatened by invasion, and, thenceforth, dedicating both heart and brain to the service of his country, gave an unfaltering and single-minded devotion to a Cause which was to him, to his latest breath, ‘strong with the strength of Truth and immortal with the immortality of Right.’ Of his career in the war between the States there is no need for us to speak. The story of his life during those four historic years is in great measure the story of that momentous conflict. From that thrice-glorious July day in 1861, on the plains of Manassas, when, as simple colonel commanding the ‘Sixth Brigade,’ he stormed through the dust and smoke of battle, sword in hand, across the plateau at the ‘hinn House,’ rolling up the Federal right and assuring decisive victory—even down to those last eventful days, fraught with so much mournful glory, when, as Lieutenant-General, he essayed with a mere handful of ragged veterans to dispute possession of the Valley of Virginia against appalling odds—his stubborn valor, his readiness of resource, his unshaken constancy in desperate and critical events, shone conspicuous on every hard-fought field. Neither unduly elated by victory nor readily shaken by adversity, he met with an even serenity both extremes of fortune, and though, after long and brilliant service, assailed by unjust and ungenerous criticism on his effort to stem inevitable disaster, steadfast in the consciousness of utmost endeavor, he accepted all censure with the proud silence of a high spirit, and rested content in the unswerving confidence and regard of his beloved commander. The simplest word of that leader, whom it is no exaggeration to say he reverenced with a reverence that bordered on worship, was ever to him as potent as the voice of conscience, and it was the expression on Lee's part that it was the patriotic duty of his old
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