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A fine spectacle.

It should have been previously mentioned that in December, 1861, [245] Colonel Shields at one time had eight batteries ready for the field, and so reported. General Winder authorized him to move them on a wide field under the tactics practiced by the French army, designated ‘Associated Batteries,’ translated from the French by Major Robert Anderson, of Fort Sumter memory.

This he did under the inspection and review by President Davis, General Braxton Bragg, General Randolph, Secretary of War, and other officers of high rank, firing by single batteries, then by four batteries, and lastly by the entire line of eight batteries of four guns in each battery.

The late Dr. W. P. Palmer, of Richmond, who had served as lieutenant, as well as captain, of the First Howitzers, was appointed surgeon in the early part of 1862, and assigned to Camp Lee by request of Colonel Shields, and remained there till the close of the struggle in 1865, in charge of the entire medical department, where there were sometimes not more than 500 men, and then, again, there would be from 10,000 to 15,000. Camp Lee was the post at which the parolled and exchanged Confederate soldiers were sent from northern prisons, and there drew pay and clothing and subsistence till they could be exchanged and returned to their command in the field. From that point also emanated all the exemptions under law, and all the details for every service of men liable to military services not only to army rolls. Lieutenant James H. Binford, who had served with Colonel Shields in the field, was adjutant of the conscript department, and Major W. H. Fry was adjutant of the post.

The late Captain W. L. Riddick, of Nansemond county, who had served on the staff of a Louisiana brigadier before Norfolk was evacuated, was in charge of the large department of exemption and details in the conscript service. The order and letter books of that branch of the service were under the direction and care of Mr. John W. Bransford, who at this time is Treasurer of the city of Lynchburg, or holds an important place in the government of that city.


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