Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/331
General Jackson's Oil-Cloth Coat.
As soon as I saw the coat I was struck by the well known fact that Stonewall Jackson had been wounded in exactly that way two bullets in the left arm, and I remarked upon this coincidence.
Jones stated that he would not be surprised if it was General Jack- son's coat, because the man who had brought it to him a day or two after the battle of Chancellorsville had stated that he had gotten it from where General Jackson was wounded, and brought it away to sell, asking for it a peck of meal.
This charge Jones said he considered unreasonable, and had re- fused to pay it, as the coat was badly mutilated and very bloody, but that he had finally agreed to take it for a gallon of meal, which was accepted, and the coat was thrown into an old out house, along with a large amount of other plunder, blankets, knapsacks and such things as he had gathered from the battle-field. There it lay until the fol- lowing fall, when, having to make a trip to Orange Courthouse in a spell of threatening weather, Mrs. Jones remembered this coat and repaired it so as to give her husband protection and satisfaction in a continuous and heavy rain.
"T. j. JACKSON."
I then opened the coat and examined it more carefully, and found in the inside of the back, in Jackson's own unmistakable handwriting, the name, " T. J. Jackson." I carried the coat home, but of course never pretended to use it. The only occasion thereafter on which it was used by any one was when it protected the venerable Commo- dore George N. Hollins, when he was driven from Charlottesville, by Sheridan's cavalry, in March 1865. The coat remained at " Carys- brook " until in December, 1867, when my father forwarded it to Gen- eral R. E. Lee, at Lexington, Va., narrating the circumstances of his having gotten possession of it, and requesting him to make a proper disposition of so precious a relic. To this General Lee replied (I have his original letter) as follows:
LEXINGTON, VA., ijth December, 1867.
MY DEAR SIR, I have received the overcoat worn by General T. J. Jackson at the time that he was wounded at the Wilderness. I am very much obliged to you for sending me so interesting a relic of one whose memory is so dear to me. Before making any dispo- sition of it I think it proper to consult Mrs. Jackson, whose wishes on t.he subject are entitled to consideration.