A Virginian, he loved his State with all the force of an ardent and earnest nature.
He came of Swedish
stock — a sturdy, martial breed of Norseman which has preserved its national identity against Moslem, Muscovite and Gaul
, through centuries of bloody battle.
When war came, he did not belie his lineage, but responded to the first call of the State
upon her sons, in full conviction of her sovereign claim upon him and of the justice of her cause.
He was a graduate of that school at Lexington
which a Federal general styled ‘The Military Nursery of the South
,’ and he had served as captain of volunteers in Taylor
's column in Mexico
He entered the Confederate
service as Colonel
of the Seventh Virginia Infantry, but early in 1862 was given command of the brigade formerly A. P. Hill
's, and was commended for gallantry and efficiency at Seven Pines
, in the seven days campaign around Richmond
, at Second Manassas
, at Sharpsburg
In 1863 his brigade was assigned to the division of Pickett
, and was in the front line of the memorable assault at Gettysburg
Leading his men against the belching batteries on Cemetery Hill
, he shared the glory of that brilliant charge with Armistead
Felled by a shot on the crest of that wave of heroism which has been called ‘The High Tide of the Confederacy
,’ his life was long despaired of, and he was never able to take the field again.
His career subsequent to the war was honorable and useful.
His positive character and robust intellect earned speedy recognition of his capacity for leadership in the civic arena.
In the consolidation of the conservative political and social elements, which became essential to the safety of the State
as a result of negro suffrage and other revolutionary features of reconstruction, he became prominently before the public as a man of firm convictions, inflexible purpose, strong in debate and wise in council.
Nor was it long ere Virginia
honored him with a position of trust commensurate with his talents and deserts.
He entered the Governor
's office in 1894 and administered its duties with a fidelity and ability which sustained the best traditions of the Commonwealth
and earned for him the respect of every class of his constituents.
Thereafter he never left the shades of private life.
He survived to see his beloved State well started on a new era of prosperity and happiness, and he died in 1895 leaving a name as free from stain as the skies that bend in Indian Summer
above his native mountains.
Such, in pregnant brevity, is the life record of the gallant officer,