Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 06.djvu/286

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Southern Historical Society Papers.

ber, 1851, he having been baptised as a professing Christian two or three years before at Fort Hamilton, New York.

There was a Lieutenant Thomas K. Jackson who graduated two years after General Jackson, and who was in the United States army in 1852, where he remained until the breaking out of the war, when he joined the Confederate army. It is possible that General Revere may have met that officer under the circumstances stated by him, and may have fallen into the error of supposing that it was he who became known as Stonewall Jackson.

The story of Captain Wilbourn is given as he has related it, though he authorised the writer of this to put it into shape; but it is in so much better shape than one who was not an eye-witness could give to the narrative, that it has been thought best to leave it as it came from the pen of the author; and his statement of minor circumstances, which by some may be thought unnecessary, has been allowed to stand, because those circumstances serve to give in the eyes of the general public that air of entire truthfulness to the whole narrative, for which it will readily be given credit by all who had an opportunity of knowing the most estimable and worthy officer and gentleman by whom it is furnished. In a previous letter he says that he sent to two gentleman, whom he names, "at their request, an account of the wounding of General Jackson at the time, as did other members of the staff and Major Leigh, who that night acted as aid-de-camp to General Hill, but both of them got the different accounts so mixed that they gave a somewhat confused idea of it"; and this furnishes a conclusive reason for not tampering with the very distinct and intelligible narrative of the Captain.

To make that complete, some extracts from an account published in a Richmond paper in 1865 are embodied in the letter of Captain Wilbourn, so distinguished from what he now writes as not to be mistaken for any part of that. These extracts are endorsed by him as substantially correct, though couched in language somewhat changed from his own. The paragraph in regard to the solitary horseman is also given, notwithstanding he says that this, though taken from his own account, is so much changed "as to make it appear more like a romance than reality." It is, however, now fully explained, and the true coloring is given to it by his very clear statement. With Captain Wilbourn's explanation of the real circumstances of this incident, the whole narrative may be accepted as entirely authentic, subject to the following explanations.