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 every battle in Virginia and Maryland, Sharpsburg, on account of its sanguinary and protracted character; has been characterized as the hardest-fought battle of the war. General Hood, who won his rank of major-general for gallantry on that day, speaks of this charge in the following language: ‘Here I witnessed the most terrible clash of arms by far that has occurred during the war. Two little giant brigades of my command wrestled with the mighty force, and although they lost hundreds of their officers and men, they drove them from their position and forced them to abandon their guns on our left.’ This battle completed the campaign of 1862, and established for the Texas brigade a reputation for bravery and courage which was not excelled by that of any troops in General Lee's army, and their noble example was an inspiration, not only in Virginia, but throughout the West, and caused emotions of joy and pride to thrill the hearts of our countrymen throughout the entire South. The brigade had thus won its spurs, but at the cost of the best and bravest in its ranks; and the task henceforth devolved on the survivors to sustain the reputation which they had so heroically won. Though the task was difficult, I am proud to say, they sustained the glory of their achievements on almost every battle-field in which the Army of Northern Virginia was engaged. At Gettysburg, at Chickamauga, and in the Wilderness they added new lustre to their name, and they kept their fame untarnished until the end of the struggle at Appomattox. Hitherto I have told of their deeds; but I will here quote what some of the illustrious soldiers, under whose eye they fought, said of them, so that it may be seen in what estimation they were held in that army.
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