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‘ [48] orders were issued for all the men who wished to do so to assemble just before taps for prayer service. A number gathered. Then while we soldiers stood with bowed heads, the prayer was led by a young lieutenant, straight as an arrow, dressed in his uniform of gray, he raised his hand to heaven and poured forth prayer to his and our God. On the second day's march from Vicksburg, after the surrender, the army was halted at noon to rest, I was lying, very sick, to one side of the road. Major Johnston—he was captain then—came riding up with some officers. He left the company sitting on their horses and came over to me, and asked me how I did, and if I could hold out until we reached the railroad. He was interested in us all. I see him there now, smiling down at me! As long as he lived he loved the old company. The boys called him “John Billy.” We loved him and he loved his men.’

The men of the Botetourt Artillery, under the command of Captain Henry C. Douthatt, fought bravely in Virginia. The war ended, and they went home—that is, some of them went home—to the green hills and flowering waters of old Botetourt. Worn, crippled and impoverished, they entered bravely upon the new order of things, and fought patiently with fate. The old South was gone; they have helped to make the new South. Not many of the company—not many of the Mountain Rifles who marched to war in bounding hope and pride, through the flowers of May, under the streaming flag made of a wedding gown, to the sound of fife and drum playing ‘The Girl I Left Behind Me’—not many of them are left in this year of nineteen hundred and seven! They lie beneath Virginia battlefields, In Kentucky, in Tennessee, and on the banks of the Mississippi; and they lie at home in the graveyard above the river, under the shadow of the everlasting hills.

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest
By all their country's wishes blest!
When spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod,
Than fancy's feet have ever trod.

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