Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/257
Stuart's Ride Around McClellan.
been made Adjutant when Stuart was promoted to be a Brigadier-General, and my Captain (William E. Jones) became the Colonel; but lost my position on the reorganization of the army in the spring of 1862.
The Confederate government ordered elections for officers in all the regiments, and thus attempted to mix democracy with military discipline. Jones, who was one of the ablest officers in the Southern army and a stern soldier, was rotated out; Fitz Lee was elected, and wanted another adjutant. So I gave him my resignation. A smile of fortune was really masked under a frown.
When our army retired from Centreville, two months before, my regiment had been the rear-guard, and I had conducted several scouting expeditions for the purpose of discovering McClellan's movements, which had elicited Stuart's commendation in his report to General Johnston. So Stuart asked me to come to his head-quarters and continue to do that kind of work for him. This was the origin of my partisan life, that was far more congenial to me than the dull, routine work of an adjutant. According to my estimate, the loss of my commission did not weigh a feather against the pleasure of being directly under the orders of a man of original genius.