Page:Confederate Veteran volume 01.djvu/26

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

rapid marches, he rarely ever destroyed any public property, or left so much as a wagon wheel to the enemy. Not content with simply learning what his maps could teach him of the country and its topography he was accustomed to have frequent interviews with citizens, and to reconnoitre personally the country through which he expected to move, as well as the ground on which he expected to fight. Being called to his quarters one day to give him some information concerning a region with which I had been familiar from boyhood, I soon found out that he knew more about its topography than I did, and I was constrained to say, "Excuse me, General, I have known this section all my life, and thought I knew all about it; but it is evident that you know more about it than I do, and that I can give you no information at all." Often at night, when the army was wrapped in sleep, he would ride out alone to inspect roads by which, on the morrow he expected to move, to strike the enemy in flank or rear. After all the crowning glory of Jackson, as it was

il<o of Lee, was his humble, simple-hearted piety, his

tirin trust in Christ as his personal Savior, his godly walk ami conversation, and his life of active effort for the good of others. * * * * Suffice it to say, that as I saw him frequently at preaching or at the prayer- meeting drinking in the simple truths of the gospel, beard him lead the devotions of his ragged followers in pravcrs that I have rarely heard equalled and never surpassed in fervid appropriateness, knew of his active efforts for the spiritual good of the soldiers, and con- versed with him on the subject of personal religion, I was fully (satisfied that this stem soldier not only de- serves a'plaee beside Col. Gardner, and Gen. Hancock, and Capt. Vicars, and other Christian soldiers of the century, but that the world has never seen an unin- spired man who deserves higher rank as a true Chris- tian. I recall here just two incidents. In the early spring of 18(13 I was one day walking from our camp to a meeting of our chaplains' association, when I heard the clatter of horses' hoofs behind me, and, turning my head, recognized (Jen. Jackson riding along as was his frequent custom. As he came up we saluted, and he asked if. 1 was going to the chaplains' meeting, and, receiving an affirmative response, he at once dis- mounted and, throwing his bridle over his arm, walked with me about two miles. I shall never forget that walk of the humble preach- er with the great soldier. Military matters were rare- lv alluded to, and when 1 would introduce them he would promptly change the conversation. We talked of the recently organ i zee I chaplains' association, and how to make it more efficient; of the need of more chaplains and other preache*s in the army, and how- to secure them ; of the best way of procuring and cir- culating Hibles and religious literature; of certain officers and men in whose salvation he felt peculiar in- terest, and for whom he asked that I would join him in special prayer and effort ; of the necessity of having chaplains stick to the post of duty even more faith- fully than other officers and men, and other kin- dred topics. And then we got on the subject of per- sonal piety, the obstacles to its growth in the army and the best means of overcoming them, and as he quoted readily, and applied aptly some of the most precious promises of (Jod's word, I almost imagined that I was talking, instead of to this grim son of Mars,, to one of the grand old preachers of the olden time who knew nothing about " new theology," but was content to follow implicitly the word of (Jod, and to sing with the spirit and the understanding. I may now barely allude to his glorious death, the logical sequence to his noble life of simple trust and self-sacrificing toil in the vineyard of the Lord. Cut down in the execution of what he regarded as the most successful military movement of his life, shot by his own men, who would have died rather than will- ingly harmed a button on his old gray coat, his bril- liant career ended in the full tide of his ambitions and hopes of future service for the land and cause he loved so well,' he could yet calmly say to weeping friends who stood around. " It is ail right. 1 would not have it otherwise if I could. I had hoped to live to serve my country, but it will be infinite gain to be transplanted and live, with Christ," And in his de- lirium, after saving with the old fire of battle, " Pass the infantry rapidly to the front," "Tell A. P. Hill to- prepare for action," "Tell Major Hawkins to send for- ward rations for the men," a peaceful smile passed over his placid countenance, and his last words were, " Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." And this great man died! Nay, he did not die! The weary worn marcher went into bivouac — the hero- of a hundred battles won his last victory, and went to wear his "crown of rejoicing," his fadeless laurels of honor, and heaven and earth alike have echoed the plaudit: "Servant of (iod, well done ; Rest from thy loved employ. The battle's fought, the victory's won. Enter thy Master's Joy !" THE CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY HOW THE MOVEMENT, STARTED SOUTH, CAUSED THE NATIONAL EVENT IN HONOR OF SOLDIER DEAD. Many Southern people do not enjoy, as they de- serve, the knowledge that our women started the movement which gives a National holiday of May 30. It is decoration day for the graves of all Union soldiers. The widow of (Jen. John A. Logan told how it came about in a letter of May 14, 1892, to the New York Mail and Express. (Jen. Logan was the second Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. HOW T1IK FIRST SUGGESTION WAS MADE. In the letter referred to Mrs. Logan states : " During the winter preceding the order Mr. Charles L. Wilson, of Chicago, invited (Jen. Logan and myself to ac- company him and some fronds to visit the battlefields- and fortifications around Richmond, Petersburg and their vicinities. The political situation in the House of Representatives touching reconstruction, impeach- ment of Mr. Johnson, and such questions, was such that he would not go away, but I did go with them.

  • * * * j n telling Gen. Logan of what we had

seen we mentioned that we had been much impressed