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Williamsburg Junior Guards. [from the Richmond, Va., dispatch, December 1, 1901.]

Battle-Roll of a gallant band, Worth preserving.

The Thirty-second Virginia Regiment was organized in 1861, by Colonel B. S. Ewell (late emeritus president of William and Mary College), the brother of General Richard S. Ewell, and classmate of General U. S. Grant and other celebrities, at West Point. The Colonel afterwards served on the staff of General Joseph E. Johnston, in the South.

On our retreat from the Peninsula, when General Joseph E. Johnston came down from Manassas to assist General J. Bankhead Mc-Gruder, who was confronted by the superior forces of General Geo. B. McClellan, we dared to hold a company election at Bottom's bridge, by bivouac, when quite all the officers were changed. In the face of the enemy, such would never have been allowed in any European army. It was accomplished, however, without a hitch of unpleasantness. Octavius Coke, brother of your fellow-townsmen, John A. and Alexander Coke, was made captain; Robert P. Taylor, a gallant comrade, first lieutenant, and John H. Barlow, Jr., a splendid fellow, second lieutenant. The Williamsburg Junior Guards, as Company C, was merged into the Thirty-second Regiment of Virginia Volunteers, Colonel Edward Montague, of Essex county, commanding, and Dr. James Semple, of Hampton, regimental surgeon. This regiment was with General J. E. B. Stuart when he was killed, and bore a severe part, under heavy fire, in the battles of Yellow Tavern, Gettysburg, etc. When the battle of Yellow Tavern was over, Robert A. Lively discovered a minie ball, which is now in the possession of his son, R. A. Lively, Jr., at Covington, Ky., coiled, or rather flattened, in a pair of yarn socks he had in his haversack, to which may be attributed his escape from death.

Out of the eighty-six boys who organized (only enough men in the company for officers), as the ‘Williamsburg Junior Guards,’ only a few returned to their homes in 1865, to tell the tale, and today only an infinitesimal margin remains. The rest have gone to join the ‘ages.’ Their mothers had offered them as a sacrifice [176] upon the altar of their Southern homes and firesides, with the injunction of the Spartan, to ‘return with their shield or on it.’

By some good luck I preserved this list (in pencil), and although nearly effaced, I hasten to send it to you, that the ‘art preservative of all arts’ may transmit it as a reminiscence of the glorious past, filled with grandeur and pathos, without a solitary regret.

Perhaps the roster of Company C would be comfortable reading for the present generation in and about old Williamsburg.

The accompanying list of names suggests much that is mingled with a sense of joy and sadness. When the war bugle's blast was heard through our land, these boys were among the first to put on their armor. The opportunity to maintain their prestige, for really they felt that the mantle of their fathers had fallen upon their shoulders, was cheerfully accepted.

Colonel Joseph V. Bidgood, of your city, has reminded me of some facts I had quite forgotten. When Dr. Pettit, adjutant of the Thirty-second, was killed at Sharpsburg, Mr. Bidgood was promoted from sergeant-major to adjutant.

I observe that of the list Colonel W. Miles Cary is a resident of your city, basking on the hillsides of mature thought, waiting to hear the ‘keel strike on the other shore.’

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