Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/137

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Gettysburg Picket? s Charge. 133

Rifles, Company G. As adjutant of the regiment I had every op- portunity of knowing and appreciating Col. Owens as a man and of- ficer. I learned to esteem and love him. He was intelligent, quiet, gentle, kind and considerate. Yet he was firm of purpose and of strong will. He knew how to command and how to require obedi- ence. He was faithful, and nothing could swerve him from duty. Under his quiet, gentle manner there was a force of character sur- prising to those who did not know him well. And he was as brave and heroic as he was gentle and kind. Under fire he was cool, self-possessed, and without fear. He was greatly beloved and re- spected by his regiment, although he had commanded it for a very short time. He fell while gallantly leading his regiment before it reached the enemy's lines. He, too, is to be numbered among those heroes of our city, who left home, never to return; who after faithful and distinguished service, fell on the field of honor, worthy of the high rank he had attained, reflecting by his life, patriotism and courage, honor on his native city, which will never let his name and patriotic devotion be forgotten.

John C. Niemeyer, First Lieutenant I, Ninth Virginia, was kill- ed in that charge just before reaching the famous stone wall. He was a born soldier, apt, brave, dashing. He was so young, so exu- berant in feeling, so joyous in disposition, that in my recollection of him he seems to. have been just a lad. Yet he knew and felt the responsibility of office, and faithfully and gallantly discharged its duties. He was a worthy brother of the distinguished Col. W. F. Neimeyer, a brilliant officer who also gave his young life to the cause,

And there, too, fell my intimate friend, John S. Jenkins, Ad- jutant of the Fourteenth Virginia. He, doubtless, was one of those gallant officers whom General Hunt saw when he recognized Col- onel Hodges immediately after the battle, lying dead where he fell, who had gathered around him, and whose limbs were interlocked in death as their lives had been united in friendship and comrade- ship in the camp. He fell among the bravest, sealed his devotion to his country by his warm young blood, in the flush of early vig- orous manhood when his life was full of hope and promise. He gave up home which was pecularly dear and sweet to him, when he knew that hereafter his only home would be under the flag of his regiment, wherever it might lead, whether on the march, in the