Clayton's (Holtzclaw's) Brigade

The Commanders:

Henry DeLamar Clayton was born in Pulaski County, GA, 7 March 1827. He graduated Emory and Henry College, VA, and read law in Eufala, AL. In 1849, he passed the bar and opened an office in Clayton, AL. In 1857, he ran for the state legislature from Barbour County and served two terms, until 1861. He also formed a militia company (Clayton Guards) and served as its captain, then as Col. of the 3rd AL Volunteers, August, 1860.

Clayton tried to have his regiment accepted into Confederate service at Pensacola in January 1861. While initially unsuccessful, Clayton was ordered to take command of all Alabama troops at Pensacola as they arrived. In March 1861, when the 1st Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized, Clayton was their Col., an office he exercised for a year. Clayton resigned his commission and returned home in January 1862. He then organized the 39th Alabama and commanded it when it became part of Brig. Gen'l Franklin Gardner's brigade. They accompanied Gen'l Braxton Bragg in his 1862 Kentucky Campaign. At Murfreesboro, as part of Brig. Gen'l Zachariah Deas' brigade, Clayton was wounded and then promoted to Brig. Gen'l. He was given Alexander P. Stewart's old brigade (18th, 32nd, 36th, 38th, and 58th AL regiments). Clayton's Brigade fought at Chickamauga, Chattanooga, and at Rocky Face Ridge. After New Hope Church, Clayton was promoted to Major Gen'l and commanded what had been Gen'l A. P. Stewart's Division -- Gibson's, Stovall's, Strahl's, and Clayton's (now Holtzclaw's) brigades. Clayton participated in all the subsequent actions of the Army of Tennessee (excluding Franklin), up until April of 1865 when Clayton voluntarily retired, citing stress.

Following the war, Clayton resumed his law practice, was elected a circuit court judge (May 1866), was removed by the Reconstruction government, was reelected (1874, 1880), and became president of the University of Alabama (1886). He died 3 October 1889, in Tuscaloosa, and is buried in Eufaula.

James Thadeus Holtzclaw was born in McDonough, GA, 17 December 1833. Holtzclaw came to Montgomery and read law, declining an appointment to West Point. He passed the bar in 1855 and practiced law until the outbreak of war.

Holtzclaw was a part of a militia company, the Montgomery True Blues, and volunteered with that company for service at the capture of the Pensacola Navy Yard. In August 1861, President Jefferson Davis appointed Holtzclaw Major of the 18th Alabama, then Lt. Col. in December. At Shiloh, Holtzclaw was badly wounded standing by the regimental colors, but he rejoined his regiment within about 90 days. He received a colonel's commission dated from Shiloh, and in the autumn of 1862, he was sent to Mobile where he remained in command of a brigade, briefly. Holtzclaw led his regiment at Chickamauga and was injured; his regiment, too, suffered heavy losses. Since Gen'l Clayton had been wounded at Chickamauga, Holtzclaw commanded Clayton's Brigade at Lookout Mountain and was able to hold off the Union advance for several hours. In July 1864, Holtzclaw was promoted Brig. Gen'l to succeed Clayton, now division commander. He commanded his brigade during Gen'l Joseph E. Johnston's retreat to Atlanta and throughout Gen'l John Bell Hood's campaign, sometimes acting as rear guards. On 20 January 1865, Holtzclaw was ordered to Mobile and took command of a division consisting of his own and Matthew D. Ector's Texas Brigade, which with Gibson's Brigade and I. W. Patton's artillery, formed the garrison of Spanish Fort until they withdrew, 8 April 1865. In May 1865, Gen'l Holtzclaw and his brigade were paroled at Meridian.

Following the war, Holtzclaw resumed the practice of law in Montgomery and became a leader in the Democratic Party. He provided service in the state railroad commission prior to his death, 19 July 1893. He is buried in Montgomery.

The Regiments:

Clayton's Brigade consisted of the 18th, 32nd, 36th, 38th, and 58th Alabama Infantry Regiments.

18th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 18th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Auburn, 4 Sept 1861, with men recruited from Butler, Coffee, Coosa, Covington, Jefferson, Pike, Shelby, and Tuscaloosa counties, and the field officers were appointed by President Jefferson Davis. A few weeks later, it went to Mobile, by way of Huntsville, and was there brigaded under Gen'l Adley Hogan Gladden of Louisiana, with the 19th, 20th, 22nd, and 25th AL regiments, Jones Mitchell Withers' Division. Ordered to Corinth in March 1862, the regiment was there brigaded under Gen'l J. K. Jackson of Georgia, with the 17th and 19th AL regiments. The 18th fought the first day at Shiloh and was detailed to escort the brigade of USA Gen'l Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss, which it had largely aided to capture, to the rear, and it did not take part the second day. After the battle, the regiment being without field officers and was for a short time under officers detailed for the purpose. It was under fire at Blackland, and soon after was sent to Mobile under the command of Gen'ls James Edwin Slaughter and Alfred Cumming. There the 18th remained until April 1863, when it rejoined the Army of Tennessee, in a brigade with the 36th and 38th AL regiments, and the 9th AL Battalion (the latter being soon after raised to the 58th AL regiment, and consolidated subsequently with the 32nd AL), commanded successively by Gen'ls Henry DeLamar Clayton of Barbour, James Thadeus Holtzclaw of Montgomery, and Col. Bushrod Jones of Perry. At Chickamauga, the 18th lost 22 out of 36 officers, and 300 out of 500 men, killed and wounded. At Missionary Ridge, the 18th was engaged, and lost about 90 men, principally captured. Having wintered at Dalton, it began the Dalton-Atlanta campaign with 500 effective men, and fought all the way down to Jonesboro, losing constantly in killed and wounded, but with no severe loss at any one place. It lost very nearly half its number during the campaign, and rendered effective service. The regiment went with Gen'l John Bell Hood into Tennessee, and lost about 100 at Franklin, principally captured. When the army moved to the Carolinas in February 1865, the regiment was ordered to Mobile, and placed in the field works at Spanish Fort. It participated prominently in the siege of that place several weeks later, with some loss and escaped when the defenses were evacuated. It surrendered at Meridian, MS, 4 May 1865, with the military department. The army numbered 858 men in January 1861; it lost 20 k and 80 w at Shiloh, and 56% of the 527 engaged at Chickamauga. It had 209 casualties in Chattanooga and was reduced to 275 effectives in November 1864.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Edward Courtney Bullock (died, 1861); James Thadeus Holtzclaw; Eli Sims Shorter (retired, 10 May 1862); and James Strawbridge (temporary); Lt. Cols. Peter Forney Hunley; Richard Freer Inge (died, 28 Sept 1863); and Majors William M. Moxley (retired, 21 Nov 1862 Sheppard Ruffin; Bryan Morel Thomas (temporary).

Captains and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. "A", Bullock Guards (Coffee County): William Morel Moxley (promoted); B. W. Starke (wounded, Shiloh; resigned, 19 July 1862); Joseph H. Justice (KIA, Chicamauga); Noah O. Hutchinson
  • Co. "B", Covington Hunters (Covington County): James T. Brady (resigned, 24 Feb 1862); S. D. McLelen (resigned, 28 Aug 1862); Orville A. Stringer (from Co. "D"; KIA, Chicamauga); Thomas Hardwick
  • Co. "C", Cahaba Valley Rangers (Jefferson County): James M. Oliver (discharged, 1 July 1863); James M. McLaughlin
  • Co. "D", Coosa Farmers (Coosa County): Guy Smith (discharged, 25 Feb 1862); Charles M. Cox (resigned, 29 Dec 1862); J. Henry Hammond (KIA, Chicamauga); George M. Williams (wounded, Chicamauga; captured, Franklin)
  • Co. "E", Confederate Stars (Tuscaloosa County): Richard F. Inge (promoted); S. C. Wilkerson (captured, Missionary Ridge)
  • Co. "F" Tom Watts Rifles (Butler County): H. Clay Armstrong (resigned, 20 Sept 1862); Aug. C. Greene (wounded, Jonesboro)
  • Co. "G", Yancey Guards [or Yancey Rangers] (Jefferson County): James Haughey (resigned, 27 May 1862) H. P. Walker
  • Co. "H" A. B. Moore's Invincibles (Pike County): W. L. Hammer (promoted to Surgeon); Sheppard Ruffin (promoted); Sherman K. Fielder (KIA, Chicamauga); James B. Darby (wounded, New Hope Church); T. J. Sims (Lt. commanding)
  • Co. "I", Curry Guards (Shelby County): Peter F. Hunley (wounded, Shiloh; promoted); John M. Mickle (KIA, Chicamauga); Martin
  • Co. "K", Confederate Blues (Talladega County): John J. Calhoun (resigned); H. Clay Stone (wounded, Chicamauga; resigned, 27 April 1864); Thomas M. Riser

Historical Resources:

32nd Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 32nd Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Mobile in April 1862 with companies recruited from Baldwin, Clarke, Fayette, Mobile, Monroe, Tuscaloosa, Washington, and Wilcox counties. It proceeded to Tennessee three months later and was under fire first at Bridgport where it forded the Tennessee River against the enemy. Shortly after, the regiment captured Stevenson, with valuable stores. It operated in middle Tennessee, part of the time under Gen'l Nathan B. Forrest, and was surprised and overpowered at Lavergne, losing a number of prisoners. Placed in Gen'l D. W. Adams' Brigade, the 32nd fought with severe loss at Murfreesboro (105 casualties). Having wintered at Tullahoma, the regiment was part of the force sent to Mississippi to the relief of Vicksburg. It was in the trenches at Jackson, and it repulsed an enemy assault without loss, costing 260 Union casualties. In November of 1863, the 32nd rejoined the Army of Tennessee and participated in the Battle of Chickamauga, with small loss. It was then transferred from Adams' Brigade to that of Gen'l Henry D. Clayton of Barbour and consolidated with the 58th Alabama in November 1863, where its further history is located. However, the regiment did participate at Chattanooga (257 casualties) and reported 325 men and 119 arms in December. Of these men, many were lost at Spanish Fort and only a few surrendered on 4 May 1865.

Field and staff Officers: Col. Alexander McKinstry (Mobile; relieved); Lt. Col. Harry [Henry] Maury (Mobile; captured at Lavergne; wounded, Murfreesboro, Jackson; transferred); Majors Thomas Porter Ashe (Washington; resigned, 15 Oct 1862); Thomas S. Easton (Mobile; resigned, 13 May 1863); John C. Kimbell (Clarke; relieved); and Adjutants John L. Chandler (Mobile; relieved); Lewis A. Middleton

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. "A" (Washington County): Thomas P. Ashe (promoted); Robert L. Bowling (wounded, Murfreesboro; resigned, 30 Dec 1863)
  • Co. "B" (Mobile County): John Drew (resigned, 12 June 1862); Charles H. Garner (resigned, 10 Dec 1862); Hinson H. Smith (resigned, 27 Feb 1863); Hugh McF. Tatom (died in service)
  • Co. "C" (Mobile and Baldwin counties): Thomas S. Easton (promoted); Benjamin H. Smoot (relieved)
  • Co. "D" (Wilcox and Clarke counties): John W. Creagh (resigned, 24 July 1862); George W. Cox (wounded, New Hope Church)
  • Co. "E" (Clarke County): Alexander Kilpatrick (resigned)
  • Co. "F" (Mobile, Washington, and Choctaw counties): H. S. Smith (resigned, 11 March 1863); Thomas S. Fry (wounded, near Dalton; transferred)
  • Co. "G" (Clarke and Washington counties): John C. Kimball (promoted); S. T. Taylor
  • Co. "H" (Clarke County): John W. Bell (died in service, 14 Feb 1864)
  • Co. "I" (Mobile, Tuscaloosa, and Fayette counties): Walter Thompson (detached)
  • Co. "K" (Mobile County): Isaac McCleveland (resigned, 6 April 1864); William B. Grist

Historical Resources:

  • Regimental flag (this flag was originally issued to the 58th Alabama Regiment sometime between February and May, 1864. Because the original flag bore only the "58" designation, a crudely applied "32" was added (barely visible, in the blue field, left of the "58" [see close-up detail]) to indicate the consolidated regiments. At the end of the war, flag bearer, James Freeman, concealed the flag in his boot. At Freeman's death, the flag passed to Lt. Col. John Washington Inzer, and he donated it to the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History in 1906. The flag is nearly identical to others carried by regiments in Clayton's Brigade. The most recently applied battle honor is for Rocky Face Ridge, or Mountain. All but the word "Mountain" has been worn away (right edge of flag). [Images courtesy of Stephen Adler and Ray Revette])

36th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 36th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Mount Vernon Arsenal, 12 May 1862, with men recruited from Fayette, Greene, Mobile, Monroe, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. it remained there a month, then aided in the construction of the defenses at Oven and Choctaw Bluffs. From August 1862 until April 1863, the regiment was stationed at Mobile, then was sent to Tullahoma. It was there brigaded under Gen'l Henry D. Clayton of Barbour, with the 18th, 38th, and 58th Alabama regiments, Stewart's Division. The 36th fell back with the army and participated at Chickamauga with a loss of 125 k and w. Its loss was light at Lookout Valley, but large in casualties and prisoners at Missionary Ridge. The regiment wintered at Dalton, GA, and was engaged at Crow's Valley, Rocky Face Ridge, Resaca, New Hope Church, the Atlanta battles, and the skirmishing interludes, losing about 300 men by the casualties of battle from the time it left Dalton. At Jonesboro, the regiment was again engaged and lost 25% of its force present. Having accompanied Gen'l John Bell Hood to middle Tennessee, the 36th lost about 60 men at Nashville, and came out of there as an organized body. The regiment, with the other regiments of Gen'l James T. Holtzclaw's Brigade, was then placed on garrison duty at Spanish Fort. During that siege, the 32nd lost 110 men k, w, and captured. It was part of the force surrendered at Meridian On 4 May 1865. The 36th went into line of battle at Dalton, 7 May 1864, with 460 muskets; within the 11 months following, it lost 470 men and 21 officers, chiefly k and w.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Robert Hardy Smith (Mobile; resigned); Lewis T. Woodruff (Mobile; wounded, New Hope Church; retired); Thomas Hord Herndon (Greene); Lt. Cols. Lewis T. Woodruff (promoted); Thomas Hord Herndon (wounded, Chickamauga, Atlanta; promoted); Majors Thomas Hord Herndon (promoted); Charles S. Henagan (Sumter; captured, Mission Ridge); and Adjutants Thomas A. Hatch (Greene; resigned, 4 Jan 1862); and Robert M. Harkman (Greene)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. "A" (Sumter County): Charles S. Henagan (promoted); John M. Analles [Quarles?] (resigned, 22 Dec 1863); James T. Meek
  • Co. "B" (Greene County): Nathan M. Carpenter
  • Co. "C" (Greene County): James A. Wemyss (wounded, Atlanta; resigned) Lt. W. N. Knight
  • Co. "D" (Tuscaloosa and Fayette counties): John C. Adams (wounded, Missionary Ridge; retired, 8 Aug 1864); John Mack Walker (KIA, Resaca); Lt. William M. Owen
  • Co. "E" (Mobile County): John G. Cleveland (KIA, Chicamauga); Washington Lott (wounded, Resaca)
  • Co. "F" (Monroe County): John DeLoach (resigned, 15 Oct 1863); D. W. Kelly (KIA, Missionary Ridge); William S. Wiggins (wounded, Jonesboro)
  • Co. "G" (Monroe County): Malcolm Patterson (resigned, 8 Jan 1864); John B. Jordan (captured, Atlanta; dropped from roll, 4 Sept 1864); David T. McCants
  • Co. "H" (Greene County): James W. A. Wright (wounded, Missionary Ridge, and captured)
  • Co. "I" (State of Mississippi): Mathew Calvert (resigned, 26 Dec 1863); Wells Thompson
  • Co. "K" (Tuscaloosa County): Andrew J. Derby (resigned, 19 Dec 1864); H. A. Farish (captured, Spanish Fort)

Historical Resources:

38th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 38th Alabama Infantry Regiment was organized at Mobile in May 1862, with troops raised in Clarke, Conecuh, Fayette, Mobile, Washington, and Wilcox counties, and it remained at the defences in the vicinity of that city until February 1863. It then proceeded to Tullahoma and was there placed in the brigade of Gen'l Henry D. Clayton of Barbour, with the 18th, 36th, and 58th Alabama regiments. The regiment was first under fire with slight loss at Hoover's Gap, and lost heavily in k and w at Chickamauga (37% casualties out of 490 engaged). At Missionary Ridge, the 38th was again engaged at close quarters, and a large number were captured. It wintered at Dalton and then shared in the operations of the Atlanta Campaign, losing severely (casualties: 12 k, 88 w, 24 missing), particularly at Resaca and Atlanta. From Marietta to the close, Gen'l James T. Holtzclaw of Montgomery commanded the brigade. It fought around the latter city, and at Jonesboro. During the Tennessee campaign of Gen'l John Bell Hood, the regiment participated at Nashville in December 1864, and it was in the rear guard of the retreat. Placed in the defences at Mobile, the regiment went through the ordeal at Spanish Fort where it again suffered severely. With the army, it was surrendered at Meridian, Mississippi, about 80 strong.

Field and staff officers: Cols. Charles Thomas Ketchum (Mobile; resigned); Augustus R. Lankford (Clarke; captured, Resaca); Lt. Cols. Augustus R. Lankford (promoted); Majors Origin Sibley Jewett (Clarke; KIA, Chicamauga); William Jefferson Hearin (Clarke; captured, Missionary Ridge); and Adjutant Alfred R. Murray (Mobile; wounded, Chicamauga, Resaca)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. "A" (Clarke County): William Jefferson Hearin (promoted); Daniel Lee
  • Co. "B" (Wilcox County): William R. Welsh (KIA, Chickamauga); George W. Welch
  • Co. "C", Dixie Rifles (Washington County): James L. Lenoir (resigned, 13 Aug 186?); A. G. Moore (resigned, 12 Dec 1863); B. F. Crowell (resigned, 25 Oct 1864); Lt. E. A. Holt
  • Co. "D" [also called Co. "G"] (Clarke County): G. W. Files (resigned, 29 Oct 1862); John J. R. Jenkins (resigned); Benjamin Anderson (wounded, Missionary Ridge)
  • Co. "E" (Conecuh County): E. W. Martin (retired, 20 July 1864); Lt. Samuel W. Landrum
  • Co. "F" (Fayette County): John J. Winston (promoted, Adjutant, 18th AL Regt); Albert Embree (died in service, 19 March 1864); W. H. Wright (wounded, Missionary Ridge, and captured)
  • Co. "G" (Mobile County): John B. Perkins (KIA, Chickamauga); George H. Cleveland (resigned, 5 April 1864)
  • Co. "H" (Wilcox County): John A. Jackson (captured, Missionary Ridge; died as POW, 25 Dec 1863); Robert J. Young
  • Co. "I" (Clarke County): Augustus R. Lankford (promoted); Charles E. Bussey (wounded, Chickamauga)
  • Co. "K" (Mobile County): Ben Lane Posey (captured, Missionary Ridge; wounded, Kennesaw; dropped from roll, 17 Feb 1865)

Historical resources:

58th Alabama Infantry Regiment

The 9th Alabama Battalion (eight companies) was organized at Newbern, Greene County, in November 1861. It proceeded to Corinth the spring following and was engaged at Shiloh, Farmington, and a number of skirmishes near Corinth, all with light loss. At Blackland, the battalion lost about 20 men k and w, besides a large number by disease at Corinth and Tupelo. In the summer of 1862, the battalion was sent to Mobile, remaining there until April 1863. At that time, it proceeded to Tullahoma and was placed in Gen'l Henry D. Clayton's Brigade. The battalion was in several small engagements, especially at Hoover's Gap. In July 1863, at Tullahoma, two additional companies were attached, and the 58th Infantry Regiment was thus formed, 28 June 1863. Men in the regiment were from Barbour, Calhoun, Coffee, Dale, Fayette, Geneva, Henry, Jefferson, Pike, St. Clair, and Talladega counties. Placed in Gen'l William B. Bate's Brigade, the regiment was in the Battle of Chickamauga in September. On the first day, it captured four pieces of artillery; on the second, it was in a desperate charge which broke the enemy line. Unfortunately, it's losses were 148 out of 254 men. A few weeks later, November 1863, the regiment was consolidated with the 32nd Alabama. The field officers of the 58th were retained, and the new regiment was placed in Clayton's Brigade. The consolidated regiment had 400 present at Missionary Ridge, but it lost 250 in casualties and prisoners. The regiment wintered at Dalton, GA. At Resaca, within a few minutes, it lost 95 k and w out of 300 engaged. It was in numerous skirmishes during the retreat and fought at the battles of New Hope and Kennesaw Mountain. The 32nd-58th Alabama was also in the battles around Atlanta with a long list of casualties. It moved with Gen'l John Bell Hood into Tennessee and participated at Columbia, Franklin, and Nashville, and again at Franklin on the retreat. Ordered to Spanish Fort, the regiment was in the garrison there during the siege. It surrendered at Meridian, MS, under Col. Bush Jones.

Field and staff officers: Col. Bush Jones (Perry); Lt. Col. John Washington Inzer (St. Clair; wounded, Chickamauga; captured, Missionary Ridge); Major Harry Innis Thornton (Greene; wounded, Resaca, Atlanta); and Adjutants Robert T. Harris (Marengo; wounded, Chickamauga; retired); John Clow (Scotland; KIA, Chickamauga); Albert T. Goodwyn (Autauga; captured, Missionary Ridge); Walter Hungerford (Perry; acting; KIA, Atlanta); Wiley Spruill (St. Clair)

Captains, and counties from which the companies came:

  • Co. "A" (St. Clair County): Bush Jones (promoted); George S. Markham (captured, Missionary Ridge) [after consolidation: Alexander Kilpatrick (resigned, 29 April 1864)]
  • Co. "B" (Fayette County): Edward Crenshaw (wounded, Chickamauga; resigned, 3 May 1864) [after consolidation: John A. Avirett]
  • Co. "C" (Jefferson County): Wayne E. Lee (captured, Missionary Ridge) [after consolidation: George W. Cox]
  • Co. "D" (St. Clair County): J. M. Thomason (died in service); W. M. Inzer (captured, Atlanta; resigned) [after consolidation: Hugh McF. Tatom; Benjamin H. Smoot]
  • Co. "E" (Butler County): Gilbert G. Holland (KIA, Spanish Fort); Rudolph Owen [after consolidation: Samuel D. Oliver]
  • Co. "F" (Calhoun County): Samuel D. McClellan (resigned, 8 Jan 1864); Clement P. Read (wounded, Fish River) [after consolidation: Calvin L. Harrell; Wayne E. Lee]
  • Co. "G" (St. Clair County): John Washington Inzer; Sidney F. Lister (KIA, Missionary Ridge); A. B. Vandergrift; Levi Lloyd (resigned, 25 May 1862) [after consolidation: Gilbert G. Holland]
  • Co. "H" (Dallas County): Elias W. Fort (resigned); Calvin L. Harrell (wounded, Chickamauga) [after consolidation: W. M. Inzer (resigned, 29 Oct 1864); George S. Markham]
  • Co. "I", Saint Clair Sharpshooters (St. Clair, Calhoun, and Talladega counties): John A. Averett (KIA, Atlanta); Joseph T. Curry [after consolidation: Thomas S. Fry; Waller Thompson]
  • Co. "K" (Autauga and Montgomery counties): Samuel D. Oliver [after consolidation: S. T. Taylor]

Historical Resources:

  • Regimental flag (this flag was originally issued to the 58th Alabama Regiment sometime between February and May, 1864. Because the original flag bore only the "58" designation, a crudely applied "32" was added (barely visible, in the blue field, left of the "58") to indicate the consolidated regiments. At the end of the war, flag bearer, James Freeman, concealed the flag in his boot. At Freeman's death, the flag passed to Lt. Col. John Washington Inzer, and he donated it to the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History in 1906. The flag is nearly identical to others carried by regiments in Clayton's Brigade. The most recently applied battle honor is for Rocky Face Ridge, or Mountain. All but the word "Mountain" has been worn away (right edge of flag). [Image courtesy of Stephen Adler and Ray Revette])

Comments and corrections, additions, etc., are welcomed. Email: Ken Jones.
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