Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/118

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112 Southern Historical Society Papers.

for guidance in the prosecution of the campaign when it had a short while before been confessed by all the Confederate generals, Jackson included, that they knew not what to advise then the brilliant move- ment through Thoroughfare Gap, etc. My informant got the account from a minister of the Presbyterian Church, who was present as one of the session in examining General Ewell (who had been a very profane man and skeptical), and hearing him give his exper- ience and what led him to desire membership in the Church.' '

General Ewell had been wounded in the series of battles that oc- curred just after the incident to which reference is about to be made, and he had time for deep reflection. General Ewell did not have a high opinion of General Jackson's natural ability. Indeed, as he often remarked in hearing of his staff, he knew Jackson well, and knew he did not have good common sense, and therefore the victory which Jackson had won had been an accident. And so the staff used to join in with him in deriding the claim of Jackson's friends to his being a great general.

But, somehow, Jackson kept on winning victories, so that the staff, one after another, ceased talking in the strain they had been indulging in, and Ewell was left alone in reaffirming his oft-repeated convictions. This went on until Pope had assumed command of the Federal troops, and at a juncture of that campaign when everything seemed dark and inextricably mixed up ; and a council of war was held, at which Generals Jackson and Ewell were present. Each general was asked what he would advise, and one after another said he had noth- ing to suggest ; and Jackson also said the same thing, but added that, as they seemed to think that he ought to know what to do, if they would agree to meet again the next morning, before davlight, he might have something to offer for their consideration. They all then separated.

General Ewell had not gone very far when he discovered that he had left his gauntlets, which he valued very much, in Jackson's tent. Upon returning, he found the flap of the tent down and tied, and heard the voice of Jackson engaged in prayer. He concluded that he was just saying his prayers before going to bed, and that he would wait until he got through, and then he would go in and get his gloves, but Jackson continued to pray long and fervently, and he could not help hearing what he said. It was as a little child talking to his father. He told his heavenly Father that he did not know what to do ; that everything seemed to be involved in perfect darkness, and that the other generals seemed to expect that he would be able to tell