Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/153

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Stonewall Jackson. 147

simple Virginia uniform, apparently about thirty-seven years old, six feet high, medium size, gray eyes which seemed to look through you, light brown hair, and a countenance in which deep benevolence seemed mingled with uncompromising sternness, he impressed me as having about him nothing at all of the " pomp and circumstance" of war, but every element which enters into the skilful leader and the indomitable, energetic soldier who was always ready for the fight.

But his appearance a year later is still more vividly impressed upon me. Who that ever belonged to the "Foot Cavalry" does not remember that old gray uniform, which soon became soiled with the dust of the valley, those cavalry boots and jingling spurs, that old cadet cap which tilted on his nose, and that raw-boned sorrel which he rode, and which the boys used to say " could not run except to- wards the enemy! "

Just before the battle of Fredericksburg his intimate personal friend, the chivalric "Jeb Stuart," presented him with a beautiful "regula- tion " Confederate uniform, and when he appeared in it for the first time that day the boys did not recognize him, but soon the word ran down the line, " It is old Jack with new clothes on," and then cheered him as usual. That magnificent uniform has been forgotten, but that faded old suit of gray, in which we used to see him galloping along the lines, amid the deafening yells of the brave fellows who followed him with loving devotion and enthusiastic confidence, is photographed forever in the memory of every survivor of his old corps, and will be vividly recalled at the unveiling of the monument in Lexington.


Jackson was a born soldier, and it would be for me a pleasant task to sketch his military career, which has been the marvel of the world, and shall be the study of military critics as the years go on, but abler pens than mine will describe him as a soldier, and I shall not, there- fore, in these papers attempt any detailed history of his campaigns, his battles, his military achievements for that were to give the his- tory of the Army of Northern Virginia during the two years that he was connected with it, but I shall rather give a few salient points, which shall illustrate his character as a soldier, and show something of his splendid deeds on the field of Mars.


He was noted for the rapidity of his movements. An able North- ern writer has said: "He moved infantry with the celerity of cav- alry," and some of his marches have scarcely a parallel in history.