Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/318

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312 Southern Historical Society Papers.

laugh he generally threw his head up, opened his mouth pretty wide, but made no noise. I used to tell him some little jokes that were going on in the army, but they had to be very plain ones for him to see them. I remember once he asked me to tell Major Hawks, who was chief commissary of his corps, to send to our mess some chickens if he could get them. The Major told me to tell General Jackson that he had none ; that the Hawks had eaten them all.


" There was a story in the army about General Early, for whose soldierly qualifications Jackson had great admiration. In the winter of 1862 and 1863, Early had command of the troops low down on the Rappahannock river. He had some guns on a high embank- ment trained to shoot at the enemy's gunboats if they made their ap- pearance a mile or two down the river. The muzzles of the guns were lifted very high in order to carry a ball that far. It was told in camp that Early one day while inspecting the guns found a soldier sighting one of them which pointed to the top of a tree in the neigh- borhood. After sighting it for some time and very carefully, he turned to General Early and asked him, ' if there was ary squirrel up that tree ? ' It was said the atmosphere was blue around there for a little while in consequence of General Early's reply. Whether the incident was true or not I don't know ; but I know General Jackson enjoyed the story very much.

" For a short time during the Fredericksburg fight we had an armis- tice, during which both sides were busy gathering up their dead and wounded. While out there I saw a ragged, miserable-looking Con- federate soldier, who seemed to have lost his command, and was roaming idly about, searching for something. Presently he found a new Springfield musket which had been dropped by some Federal soldier killed possibly a few hours before. He picked it up, sighted it, examined it with the greatest minuteness, cocked it, tried the trig- ger, saw that his own cartridge would fit it, and then, after great de- liberation and some little hesitation, threw his old musket down and shouldered his new one.


"A Federal major, who had charge of the ambulances on that side rode in front of this soldier, ordered him to put down the gun, say- ing that the truce was to permit a removal of the dead and wounded