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[44] from Richmond, loaded with coolness, and fired them with effect. The battle deepened. Smoke enveloped it, shot with the red fire from the guns and the exploding shells. Sometimes the blue was dimly seen, sometimes the gray, sometimes the blue and the gray locked in a death grapple. Through the cloud the flags looked small and distinct, riddled and blood-stained rags. The voice of war rose in a mighty crescendo. The ammunition become exhausted. The horses were all shot down. The enemy charged impetuously and in overwhelming force. The two Virginia guns, fought to the dying breath, were at last taken.

At this moment Ridley's Battery thundered up from another quarter of the field. Major Anderson and Captain Johnston under a heavy fire, aided to place it in position on Barton's left. Their own guns gone, the gunners of the Botetourt Artillery volunteered to serve with Ridley's men. When the battery was placed, Barton's Brigade, under cove of Ridley's fire, advanced to the charge. The two friends, Major Anderson and Captain Johnston, went down into the charge together. The one came out unhurt, to strive to the uttermost of a nature singularly dauntless, determined and devoted, to rally the broken lines and inspire his men. The other fell, and having fought a good fight, and finished his course, and kept his faith, passed on to victory.

General Barton, writing to Virginia, to the broken-hearted father of a noble son says, ‘The enemy had forced back the troops to my right, and it became necessary to charge and check his victorious columns, or we were lost. In overwhelming force he came on, three lines deployed, extending far to the right and left of our position. Our little band charged with fury, broke through the first line, throwing it back in confusion; then through the second, which in turn fell back upon the third. Your son, leading with cap in hand my right regiment, the 40th Georgia, cheered them on through the first and second lines to fall at the third. I never saw him after he passed from my sight at the head of the gallant 40th, cap in hand, cheering them on to victory. I like best to think of him thus—the gallant soldier, the noble gentleman, the exalted patriot. Virginia has made sacrifices of no loftier spirit on the altar of liberty.’

‘He was found by Dr. Vandyke about five in the evening, under the shade of some bushes, and was carried to the field ’

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Ridley (3)
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