Page:Wearing of the Gray.djvu/27

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Stuart, chief of the Confederate cavalry in Virginia, was one of the Dii Majores of the recent conflict—his career rather a page from romance than a chapter of history. Everything stirring, brilliant, and picturesque, seemed to centre in him. There was about the man a flavour of chivalry and adventure which made him more like a knight of the middle age than a soldier of the prosaic nineteenth century, and it was less the science than the poetry of war which he summed up and illustrated in his character and career.

With the majority of those who took part in it, the late revolution was a hard and bitter struggle, which they entered upon resolutely, but with unconcealed distaste. To this soldier, however, it seemed to be a splendid and exciting game, in which his blood coursed joyously, and his immensely strong physical organization found an arena for the display of all its faculties. The affluent life of the man craved those perils and hardships which flush the pulses and make the heart beat fast. A single look at him was enough to convince anybody that Stuart loved danger and adventure, and that the clear blue eyes of the soldier, "with a frolic welcome took the thunder and the sunshine." He swung himself into the saddle, at the sound of the bugle, as