Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/315

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General Thomas J. Jackson. 309


" I remember when General Gregg, of South Carolina, was shot at Fredericksburg, an interesting incident occurred. General Jack- son had had some misunderstanding with Gregg what it was I have forgotten; but the night after this gallant soldier and splendid gen- tleman was mortally wounded, I told General Jackson, as I usually did, as far as I knew, of friends and prominent men killed and wounded. I had gotten to headquarters right late and found the General awake. Among others I mentioned General Gregg's case. He said : ' I wish you would go back and see him. Tell him I want you to see him.' I demurred a little, saying it had not been very long since I had seen him; that he was mortally wounded and that there was nothing to be done for him. He said: ' I wish you would go and see him; tell him I sent you.' So I mounted my horse and rode to the the Yerby house and saw General Gregg, who was slowly getting worse, and delivered the message. I had hardly gotten out of the room into the hall when I met General Jackson, who must have ridden very close behind me to have reached there so soon. He stopped me, asked about General Gregg, and went into the room to see him. No one else was in the room. What passed between these two officers no one will ever know. I waited for him and rode back to camp with him. He did not speak a word on the way. When we got to the camp he looked up at the sky for a moment and said : ' How horrible is war ! ' I said: ' Horrible, yes; but we have been invaded. What can we do ? ' ' Do! ' he said, and his manner was savage and his voice ringing. 'Do? Thrash them!' If he had lived we would have done it."


" Was Jackson outspoken in his expressions of opinion regarding the cause for which the South fought ? " asked the reporter.

" Jackson believed in States' rights, he believed in the sovereignty of Virginia ; he believed that she had reserved the right to secede when she joined the Union, and that the North had no right of any kind to force Virginia back into the Union," replied Dr. McGuire with enthusiasm. " He believed that when the people of the North came down South and stole our property, ran off the slaves bought from the people of the North, and paid for, burned down the houses and barns of this people, insulted our defenceless women, hung and