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‘ [31] the people situated on the waters of the Mississippi, in the said county of Botetourt, will be very remote from the court house, and must necessarily become a separate county as soon as their numbers are sufficient, which will probably happen in a short time. Be it enacted, That the inhabitants of that part of the said county of Botetourt which lies on the said waters of the Mississippi, shall be exempted from the payment of any levies to be laid by the said county court for the purpose of building a courthouse and prison for the said county of Botetourt.’

I think, after all, we must be Virginia cousins.

In the war between the States this county of Botetourt sent out from farm and village, from forge and mill, from lonely cabins in mountain clearings, and goodly houses set in rose gardens; from Craig Creek, and Back Creek, and Mill Creek, and Jennings Creek; from Roaring Run and North Mountain; from Fincastle, Amsterdam and Buchanan; from every nook and corner, twelve full companies to the service of Virginia and the South. The greater number of these, during the four years of the war, fought within the bounds of their mother state. They fought at Manassas and at Seven Pines, at Chancellorsville, and on many another stricken field. They charged with Pickett at Gettysburg. They surrendered with Lee at Appomattox. Others of these Botetourt men, fought, as the saying is, ‘all over.’ Like Sir Philip Sidney, when they heard of a good war they went to it. They fought in Virginia, in Kentucky, in Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia and Mississippi. The command known first as the Mountain Rifles, then as Anderson's Battery, and then as the Botetourt Artillery, fought ‘all over.’

On the banks of the James, a few miles from Fincastle, lies the village of Buchanan. Across the river rises abruptly a great and high mountain named Purgatory. Below the town the river forces its way through the Blue Ridge; above, the valley widens into smiling farmlands. To the west the sun sets behind the Alleghenies. From this village and its neighborhood came the majority of the men whose deeds in Mississippi as commemorated by this stone.

On the seventeenth day of April, 1861, Virginia seceded. The Mountain Rifles, an infantry company, organized in 1859, at the time of the John Brown raid, at once offered its services. Its

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Philip Sidney (1)
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