Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 18.djvu/346

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346 Southern Historical Society Papers.

At the time of his appointment to be brigadier-general there was no officer of his rank in the army of Northern Virginia more distin- guished than he for the essential qualities of a true soldier and suc- cessful officer, brave, vigilant, and honest, attentive to the wants of his men, gifted as an organizer and disciplinarian, skilled in handling troops. I heard a private soldier of the Fourteenth North Carolina say to his companion during the winter of i863-'64, that Colonel Daniel beat all men he knew in taking care of his men.

He spent the autumn of 1862 with his brigade near Drewry's Bluff. He was sent to North Carolina in December of 1862 to meet a division of Foster in favor of Burnside. Soon after the battle of Chancellors- ville he was transferred to Lee's army, Rode's division, attached to Ewell's corps, during the Pennsylvania campaign.

The conduct of General Daniel at Gettysburg, the first real oppor- tunity he had to display his ability in handling troops under fire, won for him the highest place in the estimation of his fellow soldiers of every rank.

Captain Hammond says : " He told me when his brigade was forming for the fight on the first day at Gettysburg that his only regret was that some of his regiments were not better trained, more thorough seasoned, and that some, perhaps many of them, would not survive the action. After the fighting was over for that day, I observed a bullet hole in the crown of his hat just above and in a direct line with the centre of his forehead, and called his attention to the narrow escape he had made.

' Better there than an inch lower,' was the brief and careless response, and if he ever alluded to the circumstance again I did not hear it."

From July, 1863, until the day of his death his name and fame and that of his command were part of the history of the wonderful Army of Northern Virginia.

On the morning of May I2th, 1864, as the Fourteenth North Caro- lina regiment swept forward to regain the ground just lost by Edward Johnson's division, Brigadier- General Daniel, its old commander, saluted it and bade it God-speed and a worthy record. That day he fought his last fight, at the post of duty, full of courage, inspiring the timid by his example. Doing all that mortal man could do to stem the fierce current of battle, he yielded to the cruel surgery of the sword, and trod the wine press alone.

He lingered until the next day. A few hours before his death the surgeons were called in to ascertain if his wife could reach him before he died. As this was impossible, he sent his last message of love to