Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 21.djvu/305
General R. F. ffoke's Farewell Address. 207
old Confederate, who was in the vicinity when the fight occurred, the Courier-Journal correspondent heard the story before seeking an in- terview with Mr. Keelm.
When asked why he did not run away with his companion when he saw the overwhelming force of the enemy, he modestly replied that he had been put there to defend the bridge, and save it from de- struction if he could, and he did not think it right to give it up with- out at least making some show of fight for it; and when he got into it, "there was no way to get out except to fight out," as he put it. He seemed to have very little idea that his deed deserves to rank with the bravest in the records of mankind. He does not complain of his lot, but wends his quiet way unnoticed and almost unknown. He deserves a pension, both from his native State and from the rail- road company, whose property he so bravely defended.
[From the Richmond, Va., Times, April 9, 1893.]
GENERAL R. F. HOKE'S LAST ADDRESS
To His Division Near Greensboro, N. C., May i, 1865.
As the Qth will be the anniversary of Lee's surrender, it will be in order to publish everything of historical interest pertaining to the closing scenes of the " war between the States." I enclose you the farewell address of General R. F. Hoke, a gallant North Carolinian, and an uncle of the Secretary of the Interior, Hoke Smith, of whom the Northern papers wished to know something a short time since. General Lee sent General Hoke, with his division, to relieve Pickett's division, near Plymouth, N. C., where he (Hoke) covered himself with glory by storming the Federal works, and capturing almost three thousand prisoners. His gallant division took part in the battle of Brentonsville, under Joe Johnston, and distinguished them- selves as they had done before on so many sanguinary fields in Vir- ginia. The address is as follows:
R. S. B. Findowrie, N. C.