Major-General Stephen D. Ramseur. 251
battle behind Fisher's Hill. In our encounter with Sheridan's army, notwithstanding our defeat, his loss had been severe and his pursuit was languid. It was the 2Oth before he reached our front, and several days were passed in maneuvering and skirmishing. Ram- seur's division occupied the left of our line of battle and the prolon- gation of our line was defended by cavalry. On the 22d Sheridan threw forward Crook's corps, pushed back our cavalry and took possession of our line. Ramseur hearing the firing to his left, with- drew my brigade from the line and ordered me to move in the direc- tion of the firing, for after the fall of Rodes, Ramseur, to our great gratification, was placed in charge of his division. On moving to the left I had a brisk skirmish with a part of Crook's men, but did not encounter his main force. From the firing in the direction of our line it was soon apparent that our army was falling back. I now met General Lomax with a part of his men, and he kindly conducted me by the nearest route to the turnpike over which we were retreating.
It was full dusk when we reached the road. Colonel A. S. Pendleton, an admirable officer and an accomplished gentleman of the corps staff, met me and requested that my brigade be thrown across the road to cover the retreat. The brigade was promptly formed, advanced rapidly to a fence, where it met the Federals in a hand-to- hand encounter, repulsed them and stopped the pursuit for the night. It was while near me that Colonel Pendleton, whom I had intimately known when on Jackson's staff, fell mortally wounded.
Napoleon said: "The moral force in war is worth twice its physi- cal effect." Unfortunately, from this time on, that moral force which leads to success in battle was, in this army, under its present leader- ship, sadly lacking.
A word now as to the
of the Confederate army. The emergencies of the South called forth all of her sons to the front (" from the cradle to ths grave," as Grant expressed it), and in its ranks might be found men of every position in society. From education, association and pursuits he was superior to the ordinary soldier. He fought not for pay, for glory and pro- motion, and received but little of either. He coveted danger, not from recklessness, but for the loved ones at home, whose approba- tion and safety were dearer to him than life itself. His honors and rewards were the approval of a good conscience. His humor was droll ; his wit original ; his spirits unflagging. His shoeless feet, tattered