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[75]

In March, 1865, I came back to our regiment, then transferred to Beale's Brigade, Army of Northern Virginia. It was near Five Forks. I was put in command of our regiment by Colonel Cochran (the only field officer present), who was too unwell to command. From Five Forks to Appomattox we were hard pressed, with little food and rest. All the way we were attacked on every side. Our ranks were thinned out by sickness, fatigue, hunger, wounds, death, broken down horses, until we had not over a hundred men and officers in our regiment on the morning of the 9th of April, 1865. Notwithstanding all this, and the general impression that our cause was lost, General W. H. F. Lee ordered our regiment on the 9th of April, 1865, to charge and take a battery then in our front. This it did, with other cavalry, capturing it and a number of prisoners. The regiment lost in killed and wounded in a few minutes a very large per cent. Its color-bearer was killed in the charge while planting his flag on the enemy's artillery. This is said to be the last charge ever made by, and this the last man killed in battle in the Army of Northern Virginia.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to testify to the gallantry of the men and officers of our old company in many hard-fought battles. Even when hope was gone, and all looked dark, they were willing to do their duty as soldiers, and led in one of the most desperate charges ever made, with such spirit as to overcome every obstacle.

Our regiment was recalled from that part of the field by General W. H. F. Lee soon after the charge, and told that General Lee had surrendered; that we might make our way out, or surrender. Those of us who were left made our way out, but many surrendered with General Lee. Those of the Charlotte Cavalry who were not paroled then, received honorable paroles with the rest of Lee's army in a few days after the surrender.

This short and imperfect sketch I hope will enable those who were in our command to place us in the general histories of brigades, divisions, and corps. I could have embraced no more in so small a space. The dates and localities of the killed and wounded tell the battles our company was in. From Valley Mountain to Appomattox Courthouse it followed our great commander, and, when all hope was gone, when reduced to but a handful by killed, captured, wounded, fatigue and hunger in the retreat, they still fought with that same gallantry that distinguished them in other fields. Such


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