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 places where fights did not occur. But why recount these details? From Chattanooga, leading towards Atlanta, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, step by step, town by town, in fact, there was not sufficient to make a respectable farm land between Chattanooga, Tenn., or, I might say, from Nashville, Tenn., to Savannah, Ga., where Wheeler's Cavalry did not have a fight of some kind. From then to the last days in North Carolina, it was day by day, and every day, losing a man here and yonder, but at the close there was no command that presented a more solid front, or stood more firmly together, boot to boot, than those gallant boys who followed the fortunes of Wheeler from beginning to end. I believe that what I say of Wheeler's Cavalry is also true of Forrest, Hampton, Stuart, and all those other gallant leaders of the Lost Cause. At Thompson's Station, in Tennessee, Wheeler's Cavalry had the honor of capturing one who is now one of the heroes of Santiago, our own distinguished General Shafter, and I believe he was promoted for gallantry on that occasion. Only a short time before the end, the gallant Shannon, who commanded what was known as ‘Wheeler's Scouts,’ captured in one night about seventy-five men who were doing picket duty for General Kilpatrick, and in this way enabled Wheeler to surprise his camp the next morning. Did you ever see a cavalry charge? Imagine a thousand imps of darkness! a thousand fiends incarnate! drawn up in battle array. In front of them is a line which must be broken. You hear the cannons roar! The bursting of shell! The crashing of the grape and canister! You see the men with sabre drawn, with eyes flashing fire; every horse with head erect and champing his bit, as though he, too, were conscious of what was about to take place. They start! the tramping of hoofs resembling the roll of distant thunder; first a trot, then gallop, then they charge with yells and loud huzzas, and, like maniacs, they rush upon the enemy. See the gaps in the lines as the grape and canister crashes through them; you see them close up, boot to boot. There is no halting, but with a determination to do or die they rush their steeds ahead; then you hear the roll of musketry, the rattling fire of pistols, the clank of sabres, the shrieks of the wounded, and the groans of the dying; in a moment the vanquished ran madly from the field, pursued by the victors, dealing death to their fleeing adversaries. These are the times that try men's souls, and call for heroic action.
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