Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/166

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160 Southern Historical Society Papers.

dissipated ; that the God of peace might calm the storm and avert the calamity of war, or that He might at least go forth with him and with the young men under his command to guide, guard, help and bless them.

At 12 o'clock the venerable pastor was present to make the corps of cadets an appropriate address of Christian counsel, and to lead in a fervent, tender prayer.

At the appointed hour, to the exact minute, Major Jackson gave the order : "Attention! Forward, march."

And thus the loving husband bade adieu to his home. The faith- ful church member turned away from his communion service, the earnest Sunday-school teacher left his lesson untaught, and the peer- less soldier marched forth from the parade ground to win immortal fame to come not back again until his body was borne to its burial in the beautiful cemetery at " Lexington, in the Valley of Virginia," and two continents were bursting with the fame of "Stonewall" Jackson.

Jackson gave a great deal of time to his colored Sunday school. He was accustomed to carry around himself the most carefully pre- pared reports of the conduct and progress of each pupil, and to do everything in his power to interest the whites of the community in his school.

Soon after one of the great battles a large crowd gathered one day at the postoffice in Lexington, anxiously awaiting the opening of the mail, that they might get the particulars concerning the great battle which they had heard had been fought. The venerable pastor of the Presbyterian Church was of the company, and soon had handed him a letter which he recognized as directed in Jackson's well-known handwriting. " Now," said he, " we will have the news! Here is a letter from General Jackson himself." The crowd eagerly gathered around, but heard, to their very great disappointment, a letter which made not the most remote allusion to the battle or the war, but which enclosed a check for $50 with which to buy books for his colored Sunday-school; and was filled with inquiries after the interests of the school and the church. He had no time nor inclination to write of the great victory and the imperishable laurels he was winning, but he found time to remember his noble work among God's poor, and to contribute further to the good of the negro children, whose true friend and benefactor he had always been. And he was accustomed te say that one of the very greatest privations to him which the war brought was that he was taken away from his beloved work in the colored Sunday-school.