Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 13.djvu/324
Orations at Unveiling of Stonewall Jackson's Statue. 323
most of its radiance, and in that light is himself made luminous for- ever.
The day after the first battle of Manassas, and before the history of that victory had reached Lexington in authentic form, rumor, pre- ceding any accurate account of that event, had gathered a crowd around the postoffice awaiting with intensest interest the opening of the mail. In its distribution, the first letter was handed to the Rev. Dr. White. It was from General Jackson. Recognizing at a glance the well-known superscription, the Doctor exclaimed to those around him, "Now we shall know all the facts!"
This was the bulletin:
"Afy Dear Pastor, In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day's service, I remembered that I had failed to send you my contribution for our colored Sunday-school. Enclosed you will find my check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest conven- ience and oblige
"THOS. J. JACKSON."
Not a word about a conflict which electrified a nation! Not an allusion to the splendid part he had taken in it; not a reference to himself, beyond the fact that it had been a fatiguing day's service. And yet that was the day ever memorable in his history memorable in all history when he received the name which is destined to sup- plant the name his parents gave him STONEWALL JACKSON. When his brigade of twenty-six hundred men had for hours withstood the iron tempest which broke upon it without causing a waver in its line, and when, on his right, the forces under the command of the gallant General Bee had been overwhelmed in the rush of resistless numbers, then was it that the event occurred which cannot be more graphically described than in the burning words of his biographer:
"It was then that Bee rode up to Jackson, and with despairing bitterness exclaimed, ' General, they are beating us back.' 'Then,' said Jackson, calm and curt, 'we will give them the bayonet.' Bee seemed to catch the inspiration of his determined will, and, galloping back to the broken fragments of his overtaxed command, exclaimed, 'There is Jackson, standing like a stonewall. Rally behind the Virginians!' At this trumpet-call a few score of his men reformed their ranks. Placing himself at the head, he charged the dense mass of the enemy, and in a moment fell dead with his face to the foe.