Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/114
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troy them." He went into this campaign filled with this stern pur- pose; ready to stretch to the utmost every energy of his genius, and push to its limit all his faith in his men in order to destroy a great army of the enemy. I know that this was his purpose, for after the battle, when still well enough to talk he told me that he had in- tended, after breaking into Hooker's rear, to take and fortify a suit- able position, cutting him off from the river and so hold him, until between himself and General Lee the great Federal host should be broken to pieces. He had no fear. It was then that I heard him say: " We sometimes fail to drive them from position; they always fail to drive us."
Never can I forget the eagerness and intensity of Jackson on that march to Hooker's rear. His face was pale, his eyes flashing. Out from his thin, compressed lips came the terse command: " Press forward, press forward." In his eagerness, as he rode, he leaned over on the neck of his horse as if in that way the march might be hurried. ' ' See that the column is kept closed and that there is no straggling," he more than once ordered, and " Press on, press on," was repeated again and again. Every man in the ranks knew that we were engaged in some great flank movement, and they eagerly re- sponded and pressed on at a rapid gait. Fitz Lee met us and told Jackson he could show him the whole of Hooker's army if he went with him to the top of a hill near by. They went together and Jackson carefully inspected through his glasses the Federal command. He was so wrapped up in his plans, that on his return he passed Fitz Lee without saluting or even thanking him, and when he reached the column, he ordered one aide to go forward and tell General Rodes, who was in the lead, to cross the Plank Road and go straight on to the Turnpike, and another aide to go to the rear of the column and see that it was kept closed up, and all along the line he repeatedly said: " Press on; press right on."
The fiercest energy possessed the man, and the fire of battle fell strong upon him. When he arrived at the Plank Road he sent this, his last message, to Lee:
"The enemy has made a stand at Chancellorsville. I hope as soon as practicable to attack. I trust that an ever kind Providence will bless us with success."
And as this message went to Lee, there was flashing along the wires, giving brief joy to the Federal Capital, Hooker's message: " The enemy must either ingloriously fly, or come out from behind