Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 19.djvu/89

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History of the First Battle of M'anassas, &c. 83

and muskets there assembled, he found five Virginia regiments and two or three from Alabama and Mississippi, all in nominal control, simply by seniority, of a Colonel Jackson of the " Virginia Army." Soon order grew out of chaos, and we of the "Virginia Army" found ourselves one May day on Bolivar Heights, five regiments in all, assembled and called the " Virginia Brigade; " they were the Second, Thirty-third, Twenty-first, Twenty-seventh, and Fourth. Our senior colonel was a man who never spoke unless spoken to ; never seemed to sleep; had his headquarters under a tree; the only tent used was that of his adjutant. He walked about alone, the project- ing visor of his blue cap concealing his features; a bad-fitting, single- breasted blue coat, and high boots covering the largest feet ever seen, completed his picture. Cadets from the Virginia Military Institute called him "Old Jack;" told us that he had been of the United States Army in the Mexican war, and had resigned ; then was chosen professor of mathematics, and had married a professor's daughter.

He was as exact in the performance of his duties as a mathemati- cal proposition ; his only pleasure, walking daily at the same hour for his health; strict, grim and reticent, he imagined that the halves of his body did not work and act in accord. He followed hydro- pathy for dyspepsia, and after a pack in wet sheets every Sunday morning he then attended the Presbyterian church, leading the choir, and the prayer- meetings every night during the week. He ate the queerest food, and he sucked lemons constantly; but where he got them during the war, for we were many miles from a lemon, no one could find out but he always had one. In fact, no one knew or un- derstood him. No man ever saw him smile but one woman, his wife. But he stood very high in the estimation of all for his rigid moral conduct and the absolute faith reposed in his word and deeds. Soon it was observed that every night there was singing and pray- ing under " that tree," and every Sunday morning and evening he held prayer-meetings, which, I regret to say, were attended by only a few always strictly, however, by his staff, who seemed to have been chosen or elected because they were of his way of life. When thrown with him on duty he was uniformly courteous to all. He always kept his eyes half closed as if thinking, which he invariably did before answering ; but his replies were short and to the point. Not many days elapsed before the officers found out that when he gave or wrote one of his short orders, it was always to be obeyed, or suspension at once followed neglect. In May many regiments arrived from Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, and there