Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 01.djvu/110

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

black; for everywhere, like "Navarre," he was in front, and the men "followed the feather"? And where, riding at the head of and in command of Jackson's veterans, his ringing voice could be heard high, high above the thunder of artillery and the ceaseless roar of musketry, singing, "Old Joe Hooker, won't you come out the wilderness"? Of the 9th of June, at Beverly's Ford; of Brandy Station; of Gettysburg; of his action during the memorable early days of May, 1864; of his last official dispatch, dated May 11, 1864, 6.30 A. M., where he was fighting against the immense odds of Sheridan, preventing them from occupying this city, and where he said, "My men and horses are tired, hungry and jaded, but all right?" Of "Yellow Tavern," fought six miles from here, where his mortal wound was received, given when he was so close to the line of the enemy that he was firing his pistol at them? His voice—I can even now hear—after the fatal shot was fired, as he called out to me as I rode up to him, "Go ahead, Fitz, old fellow, I know you will do what is right," and constitutes my most precious legacy.

Shall I tell you when he was on the Rappahannock, and they telegraphed him his child was dying—his darling little Flora—that he replied that "I shall have to leave my child in the hands of God; my duty to my country requires me here."

Comrades, here in the city of Richmond, and for whose defence he fell, his pure spirit winged its way to heaven. Faith, which overcomes all things, was in his heart. Right here he, who on the battle-field was more fiery than even "Rupert of the bloody sword," quietly lay awaiting the summons of the angel of death. The bright blue eye, that always beamed with laughter, now looked into the very face of death without a quiver of the lid. About noon of the day of his death, President Davis visited his bedside, and in reply to his question as to how he felt, the dying hero answered, "Easy, but willing to die if God and my country think I have fulfilled my destiny and done my duty," showing that beneath the gay manners of the cavalier there was a deep, divine and religious sentiment that shone forth, illuminating the hero's character and giving dignity to the last moments of his life.

"Sing," said he to the Rev. Dr. Peterkin, the very worthy pastor of St. James church in this city, "Rock of ages cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee," and the fast sinking soldier joined in with all the strength his failing power permitted. He then prayed with the friends around, and with the words "I am going fast now, I