Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 40.djvu/158
Southern Historical Society Papers.
Governor, with the approval of his advisory Council and upon the confirmation of the sovereign convention of the Commonwealth, placed in supreme command of the largest army, which had at that time been marshaled in the State at the most important post upon her military frontier.
It is a farther significant fact that the Council upon whose advice Major Jackson was chosen for this responsible position consisted of General Francis H. Smith, the Superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute; Commodore Matthew F. Maury, John J. Allen, the presiding Justice of Virginia's highest Court; and Lieutenant-Governor Robert L. Montague.
General Smith was, of course, intimately acquainted with Major Jackson's character, talents, and record, as was also Judge Allen, who was for many years a citizen, resident, and distinguished representative of Clarksburg and of Harrison County, in Northwestern Virginia, the home county of Stonewall Jackson and his family.
While Jackson's career, character, and talents were well known to a great number of people in and out of Virginia in 1861, there were doubtless many intelligent people, citizens of the State, who knew little or nothing of his merits, for it is narrated that when his nomination as colonel in command of the army and the post at Harper's Ferry came up in the Convention for confirmation, some member inquired:
"Who is this Major Jackson to whom it is proposed to commit this responsible post?"
To which inquiry Samuel McDowell Moore, a distinguished delegate to the Convention from Rockbridge, who was a neighbor of Major Jackson and knew him well, made this now historic reply: