Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/162

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156 Southern Historical Society Papers.

thought that I knew all about it, but it is evident that you are more familiar with it than I am, and that I can give you no information about it." Often at night when the army was wrapped in sleep he would ride alone to inspect the roads by which on the morrow he expected to move to strike the enemy in flank or rear.

The world's history has probably no other instance of a soldier who won so much fame in so brief a period, and what might have been if God had spared him, it is useless now to speculate.

I have it from an authentic source, that if Jackson had not been killed at Chancellorsville he would have been sent to command the Army of Tennessee. How it would have resulted I may not now discuss, but it is safe to say that if " Stonewall" Jackson had been in command of those heroic veterans, there would have been less re- treating and more fighting. At all events, as his old veterans gather in Lexington to do him honor and in their intercourse with each other "shoulder their crutches and tell how battles were fought and won," they heartily indorse the sentiment of brave old "Father Hubert," of Hays' Louisiana Brigade, who, in his prayer at the un- veiling of the Jackson monument in New Orleans, said as his climax : "And Thou knowest, O Lord, that when Thou didst decide that the Confederacy should not succeed, Thou hadst first to remove Thy servant. Stonewall Jackson. ' '

The Christian character of this great man is as historic and as widely known as his brilliant military career, but I deem it eminently fitting, amid the general contemplation of his life and services, to re- call at least its salient features, that his old soldiers and the young men of the land may contemplate the simple-hearted piety of this stern warrior.

HIS FIRST PRAYER.

There is an incident which illustrates so well, not only the Chris- tian character, but the whole career of Jackson, that I give it in de- tail, as being the very key-note of his action, the very Polar star of his life. The incident has been published in various forms, but I give it as I received it from his old pastor, Rev. Dr. W. S. White, of the Lexington Presbyterian church, whose death in 1871 was so widely lamented.

Not very long after his connection with the church the pastor preached a sermon on Prayer, in which it was urged that every male member of the church ought when occasion required, to lead in pub- lic prayer. The next day a faithful elder of the church asked ' ' Major Jackson " what he thought of the doctrine of the sermon, and if he