Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 02.djvu/168

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

maining at Front Royal as rear guard. This day's work, including a march of twenty-seven miles on one of the hottest of summer days, the excitement of a threatened battle, and the night march of four or five miles, damaged the division seriously. Its marches had been admirable up to the time of reaching Front Royal, but for some days after that the men were broken down, and therefore straggled. Fortunately the marches during this period were quite short. Continuing the march leisurely, resting near Luray a day or two, the division arrived at Madison courthouse, by way of Thornton's Gap and Sperryville, on the 29th of July.

In concluding what I have to say about this campaign, I beg leave to call attention to the heroes of it, the men who day by day sacrificed self on the altar of freedom, those barefooted North Carolinians, Georgians and Alabamians, who, with bloody and swollen feet, kept to their ranks, day after day, for weeks. When the division reached Darkesville, near one-half of the men and many officers were barefooted, and fully one-fourth had been so since we crossed the Blue Ridge. These poor fellows had kept up with the column and in rank during the most rapid march of this war, considering its length, over that worst of roads for footmen, the turnpike, and during the hottest days of summer. These are the heroes of the campaign.

I have the honor to be, Colonel,
Yours very respectfully,
R. E. Rodes, Major-General.