Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/179

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Generals in the Saddle.


air gave him an odd look, while the terrific pace of his steed was appalling. He overcame every obstacle with ease, and it was a beautiful sight to see his horse go flying over fences, ditches or fallen trees, while the rider sat in the saddle with ease and apparent reck- less indifference.

Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan ("Stonewall ") Jackson was a great horseman. He sat in the saddle easily, while there was a sort of abandon visible which showed his familiarity with horseflesh from boyhood. His seat was very erect, and though it had none of the stiffness of the cavalry style, it was very correct. His stirrups were shortened to give a slight bend to the knee and enable him to adjust his body to the movements of his steed without apparent exer- tion.

Major-General James Ewell Brown Stuart (best known as " Jeb," from the initials of his name) was a grand horseman. He was the Pleasanton or Sheridan of the Confederate army. No man could ride better or faster than Stuart. He carried a careless rein, grip- ping the saddle with a knee clasp, which prevented his being un- seated. He was always well dressed, and as the uniform of a Con- federate general was a very handsome one, Stuart made a dashing appearance.

Major-General Martin T. McMahon was a debonair rider, from the days when he rode as a Captain in McClellan's staff until he de- servedly rose to higher command. I once saw him walk across a battlefield, having had his horse killed under him, and he was swear- ing away at a terrible rate. Just then an orderly rode up and sur- rendered his own horse. Mac stopped swearing, and, leaping into the saddle with an angelic smile, galloped off to deliver his inter- rupted orders.

Major-General Philip Kearney, who was killed among the pines at Hanover Court House, Va,, during McClellan's Peninsular cam- paign, had left an arm in Mexico. Like Howard, he depended on the knee for guiding his horse. He was a brave but exceedingly rash man. During the first year of the war officers were apt to ex- pose themselves by riding off alone, and Kearney had not yet learned that Southern soldiers were not Mexican greasers. During the battle of Hanover Court House he rode into a belt of young pines on a personal reconnoissance, only to find himself confronted by a group of Confederate infantrymen acting as a vidette. They