Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 14.djvu/168

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162 Southern Historical Society Papers.

should be prepared for the worst. He was silent for a moment, and then said : " It will be infinite gain to be translated to Heaven." He advised his wife, in the event of his death, to return to her father's house, and added: "You have a kind and good father, but there is no one so kind and good as your Heavenly Father." He still ex- pressed a hope of his recovery, but requested her, if he should die, to have him buried in Lexington, in the Valley of Virginia. His exhaustion increased so rapidly that at ii o'clock Mrs. Jackson knelt by his bed and told him that before the sun went down he would be with his Saviour. He replied : " Oh, no; you are frightened, my child ; death is not so near ; I may yet get well." She fell over upon the bed, weeping bitterly, and told him again that the physi- cians said there was no hope. After a moment's pause he asked her to call me. ' ' Doctor, Anna informs me that you have told her that I am to die to-day; is it so?" When he was answered, he turned his eyes toward the ceiling and gazed for a moment or two as it in intense thought, then rephed : ' ' Very good, very good, it is all right." He then tried to comfort his almost heart- broken wife, and told her that he had a great deal to say to her, but he was too weak.

Colonel Pendleton came into the room about i o'clock, and he asked him, " Who was preaching at headquarters to-day ? " When told that the whole army was praying for him, he replied : " Thank God, they are very kind." He said : " It is the Lord's Day ; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday."

His mind now began to fail and wander, and he frequently talked as if in command upon the field, giving orders in his old way ; then the scene shifted and he was at the mess-table, in conversation with members of his staff; now with his wife and child ; now at prayers with his military family. Occasional intervals of return of his mind would appear, and during one of them I offered him some brandy and water, but he declined it, saying, " It will only delay my depart- ure, and do no good ; I want to preserve my mind, if possible, to the last." About half-past one he was told that he had but two hours to live, and he answered again, feebly, but firmly, " Very good, it is all right."

A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, " Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action ! Pass the infantry to the front rap- idly ! Tell Major Hawks ," then stopped, leaving the sentence

unfinished. Presently a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he cried quietly and with an expression as if of