30 CONFEDERATE PORTRAITS
under your command at any personal sacrifice." ^^ Long- street wrote: "General Johnston was skilled in the art and science of war, gifted in his quick, penetrating mind and soldierly bearing, genial and affectionate in nature, honorable and winning in person, and confiding in his love. He drew the hearts of those about him so close that his comrades felt that they could die for him." ^^
The country trusted him. ** I discover from my corres- pondence you possess the confidence of the whole coun- try as you do mine," writes a civilian, in December, 1863.^^
The soldiers trusted him. After weeks of falling back, yielding point after point to an encroaching enemy, the evidence is overwhelming that Johnston's troops were cheerful, eager, zealous, had unbounded belief that he was doing the best that could be done, unbounded re- gret when they heard that he had been removed. His disciplinary faculty, his grip upon the hearts of men, his power of inspiration w^ere immense and undisputed. He had the greatest gift a leader can have, magnetism.
- ' There was a magnetic power about him no man could
resist, and exact discipline followed at once upon his as- suming any command." ^^ What the general feeling in his army was is nowhere better shown than in the fine letter written to him by Brigadier-General Stevens, after Johnston had been relieved by Hood: "We have ever felt that the best was being done that could be, and have looked confidently forward to the day of triumph, when with you as our leader we should surely march to a