Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/167

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Stonewall Jackson.

161

Jackson thus acquired a wonderful influence over the colored peo- ple of that whole region, and to this day his memory is warmly cher- ished by them. When Hunter's army was marching into Lexington, the Confederate flag which floated over Jackson's grave was hauled down and concealed by some of the citizens. A lady who stole into the cemetery one morning, while the Federal army was occupying the town, bearing fresh flowers with which to decorate the hero's grave, was surprised to find a miniature Confederate flag planted on the grave, with the verse of a familiar hymn pinned to it. Upon in- quiry she found that a colored boy, who had belonged to Jackson's Sunday-school, had procured the flag, gotten some one to copy a stanza of a favorite hymn which Jackson had taught him, and had gone in the night to plant the flag on the grave of his loved teacher.

A MAN OF PRAYER.

Jackson was equally scrupulous in attending to all of his religious duties. " Lord, what will Thou have me to do?" seemed the motto of his life. Regular in meeting all of his religious obligations, he walked straight along the path of duty, doing with his might what- ever his hands found to do. In the army his piety, despite all ob- stacles, seemed to brighten, as the pure gold is refined by the furnace. He beautifully illustrated in his life the lesson of the great Apostle: " Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." He was a man of prayer, accustomed in all he did to ask the Divine blessing and guidance. His old body servant said that he " could always tell when a battle was near at hand by seeing the General get up a great many times in the night to pray." He was frequently observed in the beginning and in the midst of battle to lift up his hands towards Heaven, and those near could hear his ejaculatory prayers. Just before the battle of Fredericksburg he rode out in front of his line of battle and offered an earnest prayer for the suc- cess of his arms that day. X ne morning of the campaign of Chan- cellorsville he spent a long time in prayer before mounting to ride to the field.

Rev. Dr. Brown, former editor of the Central Presbyterian, related a characteristic anecdote of this "man of prayer." During a visit to the army around Centreville, in 1861, a friend remarked to Dr. Brown, in speaking of General Jackson, in the strain in which many of his old friends were accustomed to disparage him, "The truth is, sir, that Old Jack is crazy. I can account for his conduct in no other way. Why, I frequently meet him out in the woods walking back- 11