Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 29.djvu/352

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

336 Southern Historical Society Papers.

small escort of cavalry. I stated that General Jackson had been badly wounded, and that Pendleton had ordered me to tell him to come to the army at once. Without making any comment, he dashed off at full speed. I tried to follow, but by this time my horse was much weakened by the loss of blood, and began to stag- ger under me. I was obliged to dismount, and found that he was shot through both thighs, and slightly wounded in several other places, so I was forced to walk, leading the wounded animal slowly behind me.

This ended my connection with the tragic incident of this most memorable night. I did not reach headquarters until 2 o'clock that night. I saw Dr. McGuire, and, asking him about the General's condition, he told me that his arm had been amputated below the elbow, his wounded hand had been dressed, and that he was resting quietly. The wounds were serious and very painful, he said, but not necessarily fatal, and there seemed to be no reason why he should not recover.

    1. .#$##'##.$

If asked why and how such a fire could have occurred, I can only answer that it was then and is still a mystery, wholly unaccountable and without provocation or warrant. We had been for some time walking our horses along the road in close proximity to this very brigade from which the fire came. The moon, ^hich was not far from full, poured a flood of light upon the wide, open turnpike. Jackson and his escort were plainly visible from every point of view, and the General himself must have been recognized by any one who had ever seen him before. There was no reason for mistaking us for an enemy, and when turning to pass through our line to avoid the scattering random fire which was sending bullets around and about us, I did not for a minute dream that there was a possibility of the guns of our own men being directed upon us. An accident inex- plicable, unlocked for, and impossible to foresee, deprived the army of its greatest general at a time when his services were indispensable. If Jackson had lived that night he would without doubt have marched his columns along the very road upon which I met Stuart, thus throwing his entire force in the rear of Hooker's army, his left rest- ing upon the Rappahannock, cutting off the enemy's communica- tions and forming around his flanks a net of steel from which he could never have extricated himself.

Broken, dispirited, panic-stricken, his right wing routed and doubled back upon his centre, tangled in a wilderness without room