Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 08.djvu/465
Gen'l J. K B. Stuart. 453
him; and while much inclined to adopt the law as his profession, he reverently recognizes the fact that the disposal of his life is in the hands of the Supreme Power.
When wounded in the hospital camp at Solomon's River, he finds occupation for his mind in the companionship of his Prayer Book and Army Regulations, and he thankfully ascribes his escape and recovery to the mercy of his God. In every great success which crowned his arms in after days, he gives thanks to the kind Providence which has guided and protected hinTthrough a thousand dangers.
He was careful, as far as possible, to provide chaplains for all of his regiments, and encouraged the holding of religious meetings, whenever the exigencies of the service would permit. There are doubtless some here present who can testify to his interest, and active participation in the Chaplains' Association meetings during the winter of '63 and '64 at Orange Court-house.
He was by no means devoid of personal ambition, and proper self- assertion. He ardently desired the applause of his superiors and of his country, and was keenly alive to adverse criticism. The gay side of his character gave to some envious minds the opportunity to point at him the shaft of slander ; but, while deeply wounded, he suffered in silence, and left his vindication to his country and his own true record. He possessed one fault, which appears in many of his earlier reports of battles ; a fault at which an enemy may sneer, but which will readily be forgiven by a friend. He could never see or acknowledge that he was worsted in an engagement. It was the enemy who ought to be whipped, and must be whipped. Defeat he could never confess no! not when borne wounded and dying from his last battle field ; for even then he cried aloud to his disorganized and retreating men, " Go back ! Go back ! and do your duty as I have done mine, and our country will be safe." "Go back! Go back! I had rather die than be whipped."
His devotion to the society of ladies was one of the noblest and purest instincts of his nature. Towards them he was as naive and un- suspecting as a child, and as pure in thought and action. He paid a ready homage not alone to youth and beauty, but to sterling qualities of mind and heart ; and he accepted the admiration and friendship be- stowed upon him in the true spirit of chivalry. A request from a lady, even though she were a stranger, laid him under an obligation. Of this a touching illustration occurred in his last moments.
Having given directions for the disposition of his personal effects and official papers, he said to me :
11 You will find in my hat a small Confederate flag, which a lady of