Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/25

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

borne back all of the morning, and his little handful of brave fellows nearly swept away by the blue waves which threatened to overwhelm everything before them, rode up to Jackson and exclaimed almost in despair: "General, they are beating us back." "No, sir," said Jackson, his eves fairly glittering beneath the rim of his old cadet cap, "they shall not beat us back. We will give them the bayonet." It was then that Bee, about to yield up his noble life, galloped back to the scattered remnant of his command and rallied them by exclaiming: "Here .stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians! Let us determine to die here and we shall conquer!" And thus was the name of the heroic Bee linked forever with that of " Stonewall " — "One of the few immortal names, That v<*re not born to die." But thr soubriquet given was as inappropriate as can be imagined. Jackson was more like a cyclone, a tornado, a hurricane, than a stone wall. Jackson was accustomed to keep his plans secret from his stall' and his higher officers as well as from the people, ami once said : if I ran deceive our own people I will be sure to deceive the enemy as to my plans." It was a very common remark in his corps: "If the Yankees are as ignorant of this move as we are old Jack has them." His QUICK DECISION M> I uisr ORDERS. Ja.kson was noted for the quickness with which he decided what to do, and his short, crisp orders on the battlefield. I happened to be sitting on my horse near by, when Col. A. S. Pendleton, of Jackson's staff, rode up to Gen. Early, at Cedar Run. and touching his hat quiet- lv said: "Gen. Jackson sends compliments to Gen. Early and says advance on the enemy and you will be supported by Gen. Winder." "(ien. Early's compliments to (ien. Jackson, and tell him I will do it." was the laconic reply, and thus the battle opened. On the eve of another battle a staff officer rode up to Jackson and said: "(ien. Ewell sends his compli- ments anil says he is read v." "(ien. Jackson's com- pliments to (ien Ewell am! tell him to proceed," was the quiet reply. And Boon the noise of the conflict was beard. At Cold Harbor, on the memorable 27th of June, 1861, after he had gotten his corps in position, the great chieftain spent a few moments in earnest prayer, and then said quietly to one of his staff: "Tell Gen. Ewell to drive the enemy." Soon the ter- rible shock was joined, and he sat quietly on his sor- rel sucking a lemon and watching through his glasses the progress of the fight. Presently a staff officer of Gen. Ewell galloped up and exclaimed : "(ien. Ewell says, sir, that it is almost impossible for him to ad- vance further unless the battery (pointing to it) is silenced." "Go tell Major Andrews to bring sixteen pieces of artillery to bear on that battery and silence it immediately," was the prompt reply. Soon the battery wa< silenced. " Now," he said, "tell Gen. Ewell to drive them," and right nobly did Ewell and his gallant men obey the order. When on his great flank movement at Chancellorsville, Gen. Eitz Lee "sent for him to ascend a hill from which he could view the enemy's position, he merely glanced at it once, when he formed his plan and said quickly to an aide: "Tell my column to cross that road." Just before he was wounded at Chancellorsville he gave to A. P. Hill the order, "Press them and cut them off from the United States ford," and as he was borne off the field bleeding, mangled and fainting, he roused himself to give, with something of his old fire, his last order, "Gen. Pendleton, you must hold your position." ms Ricin. DISCIPLINE. He was very stern and rigid in his discipline, and would not tolerate for a moment the slightest devia- tion from the letter of his orders. He put Gen. Gar- nett under arrest for ordering a retreat at Kernstown. although his ammunition was exhausted and his bri- gade was about to be surrounded, preferred charges against him, and was prosecuting them with utmost rigor when the ( bancellorsville campaign opened. He insisted that Gen. (iarnett should have held his position with the bayonet; that the enemy would have retreated if be had not, and that under no cir- cumstances should Garnett have fallen back without orders from him (Jackson) After the death of Jack- son, (ien. Lee. without further trial of the case, re- stored (ien. (iarnett to the command of his brigade. and this brave soldier fell in in the foremost of Pick- ett's famous charge on the heights of Gettysburg. A. brigadier once galloped up to Jackson in tlie midst of battle, and said : "(ien. Jackson, did you order me to charge that battery?" pointing to it, "Yes, sir. I did. Have you obeyed the order ; " " Why, no, general ; I thought there must be some mistake. My brigade would lie annihilated, literally annihilated, sir, it we should move across that field." "Gen. ." said Jackson, bis eyes flashing tire and his voice and man- ner betraying excitement and even rage, "I always try to take care of my wounded and bury my dead. Obey that order, sir, and do it at once." I heard one day, on the Valley campaign, a colloquy between Jackson and a colonel commanding one of his brigades Jackson said quietly: "1 thought, Col. , that the orders were tor you to move in the rear instead of in the front of (ien. Elzcy's brigade this morning." " Yes, I know that, general ; but my fellows were ready before Elzey's, and 1 thought it would be bad to keep them waiting, and that it really made no difference anyhow." " 1 want you to under- stand, colonel." was the almost fierce reply," that you must obey my orders first and reason about them afterwards". Consider yourself under arrest, sir, and march to the rear of'your brigade." Jackson put (ien. A. P. Hill under "arrest (for a cause that was manifestly unjust) on the second Manassas campaign, and be probably put more officers under arrest than all other of our generals combined. There is no doubt that Jackson was sometimes, too severe, and that he was not alwavs just, and yet it would have greatly in- creased the discipline and efficiency of our service if others of our Confederate leaders had had more of this sternness and severity towards delinquents. HIS ATTENTION TO MINI'TK DETAILS. He was unceasingly active in giving his personal at- tention to the minutest details. He hail an interview with his quartermaster, his commissary, his ordinance and his medical officer every day, and he was at all times thoroughly familiar with the condition of these departments. It is a remarkable fact that, despite his