Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/15
Annual Reunion of Pegram Battalion Association.
yesterday that we shared together the rough delights, the toils, the dangers of field, of battle, and march, and bivouac; and yet, again, the "yesterday" is as "a thousand years!"
How many are the faces we miss of those who quitted like men in the great emprises of that momentous struggle How sharply have we been reminded even since this flag was furled, that the "fell sergeant is strict in his arrest," and that every "yesterday" but "lights the way to dusty death."
Of the "Field and Staff" of the Battalion—
PEGRAM, of whom I shall speak presently, was slain at Five Forks.
McGRAW, thrice wounded, is gone—a superb soldier, who, enlisting as a private in "the Purcell," rose through sheer force of grit and practical skill as an artillerist through every grade—corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain of "the Purcell," major—to be Lieutenant-Colonel and Battalion-commander. Brave old "Joe," with the empty sleeve!
JOHN MORRIS, Ordnance Officer, "whose forward spirit ever lifted him, where most trade of danger ranged," was slain at Gettysburg.
HAMPDEN CHAMBERLAYNE, so long identified with the Battalion, has passed away—an officer, whose decisive vigor qualified him to conduct enterprises of the highest moment—the man who might have been our Napier, had not death claimed him in the very flower of his manhood.
Of the Line Officers, I see here to-night but two of the old battery-commanders—both worthy companions in arms of the men we mourn.
Gregg, Captain of the South Carolina Battery, is still alive, as is also William G. Crenshaw, first captain of the battery that bore his name. This latter officer, with patriotic generosity, equipped his battery completely as to clothing, blankets, &c., at his own expense, and advanced the money to the Confederate Government to purchases horses and guns for his command. Early in 1863 he was sent to Europe as Commercial Agent of the Confederacy, and remained there until the close of the war. But he did not forget his men. While in Europe he sent through the blockade a full suit of clothes and a pair of boots to each member of his old battery. This first gift was captured by the Federal cruisers, but was immediately duplicated by the generous donor, and added greatly to the comfort of his men during the campaigns of '63 and '64.I may add here, that with like generosity Mr, John Purcell, of