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The Twelth's artillery Associations.

This sketch would be incomplete if I did not mention the gallant batteries which were associated with our regiment and brigade from the beginning to the close of the war, and to which we became greatly attached. Captain Thomas H. Carter, afterwards colonel of a battalion of artillery, commanded Carter's battery in the first part of the war, and was a gifted and gallant soldier. Since the war he has become very prominent in railroad circles, but has retired to his country home in King William county, Va. His accomplished brother, Captain William Page Carter, succeeded him in command of the battery, and won renown by his intrepid [288] and patriotic conduct in field and camp. He is now a well known author, living at Boyce, Va., and has published a volume of poems called ‘Echoes of the Glen.’

Soon after the battle of Seven Pines Captain Carter wrote a stirring poem, commemorative of that great battle, which I think is worthy of repetition in this connection, especially as he alludes in complimentary terms to the 12th Alabama regiment:

Rodes' brigade at Seven Pines, May 31st, 1862.

Down by the valley 'mid thunder and lightning,
     Down by the valley mid jettings of light,
Down by the deep crimson valley of Richmond,
     The twenty-five hundred moved on to the fight.
Onward, still onward, to the portals of glory,
     To the sepulchered chambers, yet never dismayed,
Down by the deep crimson valley of Richmond,
     Marched the bold warriors of Rodes' brigade.

See ye the fires and flashes still leaping,
     Hear ye the beating and pelting of storm,
See ye the banners of proud Alabama,
     In front of her columns move steadily on;
Hear ye the music that gladdens each comrade
     As it comes through the air 'mid torrents of sounds,
Hear ye the booming adown the red valley,
     Carter unbuckles his swarthy old hounds.

Twelfth Mississippi! I saw your brave column
     Push through the channels of living and dead,
Twelth Alabama! why weep your old war horse,1
     He died, as he wished, in the gear at your head.
Seven Pines! you will tell on the pages of glory,
     How the blood of the South ebbed away 'neath your shade,
How the lads of Virginia fought in the Red Valley
     And fell in the column of Rodes' brigade.

Fathers and mothers, ye weep for your jewels,
     Sisters, ye weep for your brothers in vain,
Maidens, ye weep for your sunny-eyed lovers,
     Weep, for they never can come back again.

[289] Weep ye, but know that the signet of freedom
     Is stamped in the hillocks of earth newly made,
And know ye that victory, the shrine of the mighty,
     Stands forth on the colors of Rodes' brigade.

Maidens of Southland! come bring ye bright flowers,
     Weave ye a chaplet for the brow of the brave,
Bring ye the emblems of Freedom and Victory,
     Bring ye the emblems of Death and the Grave,
Bring ye some motto befitting a Hero,
     Bring ye exotics that never will fade,
Come to the deep crimsoned valley of Richmond
     And crown the young chieftain who led his brigade.2


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