Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 16.djvu/219
Pegram Battalion Association 213
And inspired by such thoughts, may not here to-day the living blue and gray, or wherever hereafter assembled, in heart and voice unite in the anthem of "Glory to God! on earth peace, good will," which, swelling in one grand diapason of harmony, may rise above earth and find its echoes amid the stars and planets, thence caught up higher by angel voices and wafted across the " sea of glass," sink in sweet, declining cadence before the " throne of God."
To you, sirs, I deliver this register. I know I commit it to worthy hands.
RESPONSE OF MAJOR NORMAN V. RANDOLPH.
It is with mingled feelings of sorrow, pleasure and pride, that I accept the register of the dead so eloquently tendered by Judge Lay. Sorrow for the gallant men who laid down their lives for their country and the cause they believed to be just. Pleasure in being able to participate in the ceremonies to-day, which tell us that time has not dimmed our love and admiration for our dead comrades. Pride in the remembrance of the glorious deeds won by Pegram's Battalion on sixty-three hard-fought battlefields.
I am sorry that one more gifted by nature than myself has not been chosen to respond. But, sir, no one could have been selected who reverences the name of Pegram more than I. Willie Pegram was my school-mate. I knew him as a boy ; I knew him as a man ; I knew him as a soldier. It was my good fortune to serve part of the war on the staff of his knightly brother ; and there I learned to know him better as a soldier than I had as a boy.
To you men who served under him, nothing I can say will add to your love, respect and admiration in which you held him. As a Christian, as a gentleman, as a soldier. Brave as he was generous, generous as he was just. Young men and old, think of it ; twenty- three years of age and a colonel of artillery. The commander of twenty guns that belched forth defiance in every general battle in which the Army of Northern Virginia was engaged, and every gun captured from the enemy. And, sir, after four years of constant fighting, he had the proud pleasure of saying to his commander, " I have never lost a gun."
This certainly is a glorious record for a soldier ; but while I give willing praise to the young and gallant commander, my admiration