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No Virginian will question Major Robert Stiles' opinion that ‘this Mississippi brigade was in many respects the finest body of men he ever saw.’

Colonel Hunton, of the Eighth Virginia, however, was the chief contributing factor in the conduct of the actual battle and the winning of the victory. As next in rank to Evans, as White tells us, ‘Hunton was in command of the field from the moment of his arrival, at about 12 M., and so, as I know, ordered all the dispositions and movements of troops engaged in the battle.’ With no other aid than Jenkin's small command of 320 (his own regiment numbering less than four hundred), he first drove the enemy's largely superior force back to their position near the bluffs, and by promptly seizing and heroically holding for four hours at least the ridge, which was the key of the situation, he was enabled to repulse Baker's charges and compel his adversary to fight under every disadvantage. The disabling and subsequent capture of the enemy's howitzer's was an important turning point in our favor, and his last shots and bayonet charge broke the enemy's formations and left them in such disordered state that the final charge of the Mississipians was conclusive and triumphant.

The gallant Bee was ‘a hero by life-sacrifice’ at First Manassas, but the world accords to Jackson, whom Bee that day christened ‘Stonewall,’ the honor of having done the work which contributed chiefly to that great victory.

The Eighth Virginia Infantry has a brilliant record, and its roster bears the names of soldiers equal to any ‘that ever followed the eagles to conquest.’ As Judge Keith said, in presenting the portrait of its first Colonel to Lee Camp: ‘ Did not Hunton lead it at Manassas and at Ball's Bluff, and win for it and for himself imperishable glory on those famous fields, not only as a brave soldier, but as a ready, capable and resourceful officer? Was he not with them at Cold Harbor, and upon a hundred other fields of less renown, but which were attended by feats of arms and gallant deeds more than enough to adorn the annals of our modern wars? Was he not at the charge at Gettysburg? Was human courage and fortitude ever put to a sterner test? Did human virtue ever more nobly respond to the call of duty? * * * *For gallant conduct on that fatal day, Colonel Hunton, who had been sorely wounded, was made a brigadier-general.’

Its field officers, at different periods, were: Eppa Hunton,

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Eppa Hunton (5)
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