Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 38.djvu/292

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

we did not want to part with him as our Commander. Besides, we all wanted to go with him, as nearly all of us came from the different counties in the Shenandoah Valley.

"General Jackson and his staff officers rode up in front of the brigade after we had formed on the hillside, and looked up and down the line. He then slowly raised his cap and said: 'Officers and soldiers of the First Brigade, I am not here to make a speech, but simply to say farewell. I first met you at Harper's Ferry, in the commencement of this war, and 1 cannot take leave of you without giving expression to my admiration for your conduct from that day to this, whether on the march, the bivouac, the tented field, or the bloody plains of Manassas, where you gained the well-deserved reputation of having decided the fate of that battle.

" 'Throughout the broad extent of country over which you have marched, by your respect for the rights and property of citizens, you have shown that you were soldiers, not only to defend, but able and willing both to defend and protect. You have already gained a brilliant and deservedly high reputation throughout the army and the whole Confederacy, and I trust, in the future, by your deeds on the field, and by the assistance of the same kind Providence who has heretofore favored our cause, you will gain more victories, and add additional lustre to the reputation you now enjoy.

" 'You have already gained a proud position in the future history of this, our second war of independence. I shall look with great anxiety to your future movements, and I trust whenever I shall hear of the First Brigade on the field of battle, it will be of still nobler deeds achieved and a higher reputation won.'

"Here he paused and glanced proudly around him. Then raising himself in his stirrups and throwing the reins on his horse's neck, he exclaimed in a voice of such deep feeling that it thrilled through every heart in the brigade: 'In the army of the Shenandoah you were the First Brigade; in the army of the Potomac you were the First Brigade; in the Second Corps of this army you are the First Brigade; you are the First Brigade in the affections of your General, and I hope by your future deeds and bearing you will be handed down to posterity