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[64] Virginia Regiment, next on the left of the Forty-ninth, told me that his regiment also had only three officers and eighteen men left. Thus and there at Bethesda Church well nigh perished one of the grandest corps of men the world has ever known—made up of the best young blood of Virginia, fighting for their ‘Lares and Penates;’—their exploits would brighten the fairest names upon the roll of Battle Abbey, and vie with the knightliest of any age. A brigade that had been led to victory by General Early on a hundred battle-fields; that had swept everything before it like a tornado; a brigade under whose flag you had fought and bled; a brigade that had furnished to the Confederacy four or five generals: Early, William Smith, A. P. Hill, J. A. Walker and J. B. Terrill (whose commission was on his way to him when he fell), thus to be slaughtered. The absent wounded returned; the ranks were recruited by conscriptions, but this historic old Fourth Virginia Brigade died then and there at Bethesda Church.

Your friend and comrade,


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