George Martin sent me this.
Here's the article from
the February 22, 1862, issue of the Macon Telegraph:
A GALLANT OFFICER.
In this time of our country’s trials, I think it is the
duty of all
good citizens to speak out such things as are for the country’s
with that object solely in view I wish to call the attention of my
countrymen to the great importance of having our volunteers well
with cool sober, experienced, hardy and brave men, and not entrust
their lives and honors to mere politicians and wireworkers. I
admit that some of our politicians have made good officers, but
have made miserable failures.
Being myself a soldier of the First Regiment Ga.
having goon through some of the trials it has been exposed to, I
know something of what is necessary and requisite to make a good
and will give you the career of one inthat regiment who, in my
judgment, should be better known.
While stationed at Pensacola, the officer alluded to was
thanked by special orders of the Commander of the Brigade, for
efficient discharge of duty at an important point opposite Fort
Pickens, when he was in command of our pickets.
When McClellan attacked us at Laurel Hill, the company to
which he was
attached were the advance pickets that day, consequently they
the first shock of McClellan’s army, which they nobly did, and
the leaden hail whistled over our heads he encouraged the men by
and actions to prove themselves true soldiers in that dark hour of
peril by seizing a musket and assisting in driving back the
At the battle of Corrick’s Ford, he was amongst those who
off, and endured with great fortitude the hardships of that
march, so graphically described by the correspondent of the
Mercury. It was here that he proved himself to be the true hero
kind, humane, self-sacrificing officer, and won the everlasting
gratitude of many who were weak, famished, dispirited and ready to
faint by the
wayside—myself among them. He gave half of the last cracker he
the second day to a youth, and the other half he gave on the third
to a soldier, who had sat down in the laurel jungle to die, with
remark, “I can live a few days longer, they need it more than I.”
Half a cracker! What a little thing to renovate, perhaps
life of a human being—a little thing, yet in it I thought I saw
displayed the sublimest heroism. O! ye at home in ease and
plenty, who have
never felt consuming hunger, consuming the vitals of man, know
can know the extent of our sufferings those two first days of our
as we silently cut our way through the laurel (missing line) with
shawl and an India rubber coat, with which he sheltered the sick
most feeble at night, but slept, himself, upon the cold damp
no other covering but the dark clouds above. Many are the hearts
overflow with gratitude at the remembrance of his provident care
kindness; and when arriving at McDowell with the famished, worn
unlike many other officers, he said: “I desire no furlough to go
home, though endeared to it by wife and little ones. If my
needs me, it is now; nor can I leave the sick, destitute men, who
borne so much. I am well and hearty and will stay with them, and
necessary, will share my last cent with them, for I know as
health they would stand by me to the last.”—Reader, I but speak
universal sentiment of the Gate City Guards when I say that they
and are willing to stand by him to the last.
At the battle of Greenbrier river he exhibited his usual
bravery, and many were the sad hearts amongst us when we learned
the Confederate Government had given him authority to return to
to raise more force.
That officer is Col. A. Leyden, of Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta, Ga., 19th Feb., 1862.