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Henry Dawson VanBrackle, a native of Bryan County, Ga., enlisted as a private August 14, 1861 in the 25th Regiment, Georgia Infantry in Bryan County. Appointed 5th Sergeant November 1, 1861; 4th Sergeant January 1862.

He transferred to the Hardwick Mounted Rifles May 1, 1863 and served with the Hardwick Mounted Rifles patrolling the coastal counties.

Through consolidation, Pvt. VanBrackle on February 13, 1864 was transferred to Co. K, 7th Regiment, Georgia Cavalry. He was one of the few that survived the many battles of Northern Virginia.

Mr. Van Brackle's experiences in the War Between the States is best described by himself. In his own words, Mr. Van Brackle gave the following account to Dr. T.S. Clay, SCV adjutant of Camp 756:

"I entered the Confederate service August 1861 at Savannah as
private in company D, 25th Georgia Regiment.

In May 1863 I joined the Hardwick Mounted Riflemen, organized
in Bryan County by Col. Joseph L. McAllister, and later forming
part of the noble Seventh Georgia Regiment of Cavalry with which
I continued until the end of the war.

I was present at the dismounted fight at Trevillion Station, Virginia,
where in a brilliant stand every officer was killed or wounded, and
my colonel being among those killed. (referring to Col. McAllister)

I have always attributed the saving of my life to him, as when I was
following in his steps, having left the horses and being a young man
of very small statue, he turned and said to me, Henry, you go back
and hold the horses, you are too young and small a man to be killed
here and it is probable that none of us will come out alive. I
replied, no, colonel, if it is not too hot for you it is not too hot for
me, and I go where you go, I don't leave you. He then said, Henry,
I want you to hold my horses, for I do not know anyone who I
would trust more than you, and I may need them at any minute, go
back and look out for any signal I may give and be quick with
whatever you do. I went back, and in a few moments my colonel
was killed, and I have always felt that he wanted to save my life. I
am sure if I had not gone back, I would have lost my life, as both he
and my captain, John Hines, were killed"

Upon surrender at Appomattox, Henry Van Brackle's horse was taken but he was allowed to keep his rifle. He then walked back to Bryan County where he spent the remainder of his life.

Information provided by Henry C. VanBrackle, Jr.; GGgrandson of H.D. VanBrackle.

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