Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 7.djvu/457

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world. It is not often that a "Jeb" Stuart is permitted to pass around the enemy's lines with a force that is of itself almost an army, or that a John H. Morgan is sent on dashing, distant and difficult undertakings with an independent command of divisions. General Morgan did the work, and all the work, set for him to do, diligently, intelligently, promptly and well. He was a faithful and deserving officer, who had not taken up arms as a profession, but diligently studied their most effective uses, and with rare intelligence and wise discretion engaged in his patriotic work. Duty called him to the field and he responded with alacrity. His country needed his services, and they were promptly tendered. He was not ambitious of rank or brilliant success, if these were to be prices of the lives of his men, uselessly sacrificed. Promotions came to him, but they came unsought. Sometimes they were declined, when he thought they would take him from a sphere of greater usefulness in lower rank. He declined a brigadier's commission when it would have left his regiment without a field officer, and when it needed him. He accepted a brigadier’s commission when his regiment, recruited by himself, could spare him. The men who had volunteered upon his appeal to their patriotism were the constant objects of his thoughtful care; and their welfare was esteemed by him beyond any interest or aspiration of his own, or any honors that might come to him through separation from them. They loved him with a singular devotion, and thought any service light and any danger trivial to which he ordered them. Without the genius or the art of war, his quick perceptions enabled him to divine the movements of the enemy and the intentions of his superiors in rank; and, reading orders through and between the lines, he executed them in their letter and spirit and true intent. He would not have attained immortality by the unnecessary sacrifice of the life of one of his privates. He would not have lost an opportunity to serve his cause and country which required the sacrifice