Reminiscences of the Famous Leader
by Dr. Hunter McGuire, Chief Surgeon of the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia.
The following sketch of the distinguished surgeon, Dr. Hunter McGuire, with his highly interesting reminiscences of his friend and commander, General Thomas Jonathan ("Stonewall") Jackson, appeared in the issue of the Richmond Dispatch of July 19, 1891, preceding the unveiling at Lexington, Va., on July 21st of the bronze statue by the Virginia sculptor, Edward V. Valentine, of the great soldier:
CHARACTERISTICS OF JACKSON AS DESCRIBED BY HIS CHIEF SURGEON, DR. HUNTER M'GUIRE.
Owing to his habits of observation, his excellent memory, and his close association with Jackson, there is perhaps no other man living who has more vivid impressions of the great soldier than Dr. Hunter McGuire, or is better prepared to talk upon his phases of character. Dr. McGuire was with Jackson from Harper's Ferry until the fatal l0th of May, 1863, and so indissolubly is his name associated with Jackson in the public mind that a sketch of the distinguished southern surgeon, in addition to his own modest references to himself, is almost a necessary preface to the interviews with him published below. <shv19_299>
DR. HUNTER HOLMES M'GUIRE.
Hunter Holmes McGuire, M. D., LL. D., was born in Winchester, Va., October 11, 1835. He first studied medicine at the Winchester Medical College, where he graduated in 1855. The following year he matriculated in the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, but sickness compelled him to return home before the end of the session. He was offered and accepted the position of professor of anatomy in the Winchester Medical College the following year and held it until 1858, when he again returned to Philadelphia, where, assisted by Drs. Lockett and Pancoast, he held a large quiz class.
In 1859 when the body of John Brown was taken through Philadelphia there was a great outcry against all southerners, and the feeling became so bitter that many southern students proposed to return South. Dr. McGuire was a leader in the movement, and in December of the same year, after passing through many exciting scenes, arrived in Richmond at the head of three hundred students. They were greeted with great enthusiasm, and the Medical College of Virginia agreed to matriculate them without charge.
At the outbreak of the war Dr. McGuire volunteered as a private, and marched with his regiment, as he states in the interview, to Harper's Ferry, but on May 4, 1861, was commissioned as a surgeon and assigned to duty as medical director of the Army of the Shenandoah, then under command of General T. J. Jackson.
When General Joseph E. Johnston took command he served under him until July 1st, when at the request of Jackson, he was assigned to him as brigade surgeon of what was the future Stonewall brigade. Dr. McGuire remained in this position until Jackson took command of the army of the Valley, when he became medical director.
When Jackson received the wound at Chancellorsville, which ultimately proved fatal, Dr. McGuire was naturally the attending surgeon, and found it necessary to amputate his arm. He did all that a skilful physician and tender friend could do to alleviate his suffering, but at the end of ten days the great chieftain died of pleuro-pneumonia.
After his death Dr. McGuire served as chief surgeon of the Second corps of the Army of Northern Virginia until the close of the war. <shv19_300>
In November, 1865, Dr. McGuire removed to this city, having been elected to fill the chair of Surgery in the Medical College of Virginia. This position he held for over ten years, when his growing practice compelled him to resign it.
The skill and talents of Dr. McGuire have been recognized in a flattering manner in all sections of the country. Among the many positions of eminence he has held, may be mentioned the presidency of the Association of Medical Officers of the Confederate Army and Navy, of the Virginia Medical Society, of the American Surgical Association, and of the Southern Surgical and Gynecological Association. He is emeritus professor of surgery in the Medical College, of Virginia, and has had the degree of LL. D. conferred upon him by both the University of North Carolina and the Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He is now chief surgeon of St. Luke's Home for the Sick.
Dr. McGuire married Mary Stuart, daughter of Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, of Staunton, Va., who was secretary of the Interior under President Filmore.
∴ return to top ∴
HIS OPINION OF THE STATUE OF JACKSON.
So generally has been Dr. McGuire's intimate relations with Jackson recognized that, in connection with Rev. Dr. M. D. Hoge, he was requested by the Jackson Memorial Association to pass upon the sculptor's work, and these gentlemen addressed the following letter to the President of the Association:
"In compliance with your request that we should give you our impression of the statue of General T. J. Jackson, which is now completed, so far as the clay model is concerned, we beg leave to say that we have repeatedly visited the studio of Mr. Valentine while the work was in progress and since it was finished, and we regard it, both in conception and in detail, equal in merit with the recumbent statue of General Lee. It represents General Jackson in an attitude suggestive of strength and determination, looking off in the distance with an expression of quiet confidence. The posture is easy and natural, and vet there is a certain dignity in the bearing almost majestic. There is nothing dramatic or exaggerated either in the design or in the execution of the work, but it is one which, in our judgment, will gratify those who knew General Jackson as a good likeness and noble delineation of the man; while to those who never saw him it will convey an impression which will satisfy the expectation awakened <shv19_301>by one whose character and achievements touched the imagination of the world, and created the ideal of a true soldier of the country and of the Cross."
When the Dispatch representative visited Dr. McGuire's office he was engaged in preparing for his trip to Europe, but despite the demands on him in a business and professional way, he cheerfully accorded the time necessary for the interview.
DR. M'GUIRE'S REMINISCENCES.
"Where did you first see Jackson?" asked the reporter as soon as the Doctor had consented to be interviewed.
"I went to Harper's Ferry," said the Doctor, "as a member of Company F, Second Virginia Regiment, and soon after, for the first time in my life, I saw Jackson. At that time he was a colonel. He was then commanding the army at Harper's Ferry, which was known as the army of the Shenandoah. Soon after reaching Harper's Ferry I was commissioned by Governor Letcher, who then commanded the Virginia forces, as medical director of that army. When I reported to General Jackson for duty he looked at me a long time without speaking a word, and presently said: 'You can go back to your quarters and wait there until you hear from me.'
"I went back to my quarters and didn't hear from him for a week, when one evening I was announced at dress-parade as medical director of the army.
"Some months afterwards, when I asked the General the cause of this delay, he said that I looked so young that he had sent to Richmond to see if there wasn't some mistake.
"Not long after this General Joe Johnston succeeded Colonel Jackson in command of the army, and the latter was given command of all the Virginia forces at Harper's Ferry. Shortly after General Johnston took command I was relieved from duty by some regular old army surgeon. Jackson asked then that I should be assigned to his command.
"When General Joe Johnston came up to supersede Jackson, he came without any written authority from the Confederate Government. Jackson declined to turn the army over to him, and made him wait until he could get the orders from Richmond before he permitted him to assume command. <shv19_302>
"Some months afterwards when I asked Jackson what he would have done if Johnston had insisted upon taking command without proper authority, he smiled and said: ' I would have put him in the guard-house.'
∴ return to top ∴
"Can you give me a description of General Jackson?" asked the reporter.
"In person Jackson was a tall man, six feet high, angular, strong, with rather large feet and hands," was the reply. "He rather strided along as he walked, taking long steps and swinging his body a little. There was something firm and decided, however, even in his gait. His eyes were dark blue, large, and piercing. He looked straight at you and through you almost as he talked. His nose was aquiline, his nostrils thin and mobile. His mouth was broad, his lips very thin. Generally they were compressed. He spoke in terse, short sentences, always to the point. There was never any circumlocution about what he had to say. His hair was brown and inclined to auburn. His beard was brown. He was as gentle and kind as a woman to those that he loved. There was sometimes a softness and tenderness about him that was very striking. Under every and all circumstances he never forgot that he was a Christian and acted up to his Christian faith unswervingly, and yet he was not a bigoted denominationalist.
"At one time just before the fight at Chancellorsville we were ordered to send to the rear all surplus baggage. All tents were discarded except those necessary for office duty. We were allowed at the headquarters only one tent, and that to take care of the papers. A Catholic priest belonging to one of the Louisiana brigades sent up his resignation because he was not permitted to have a tent, which he thought necessary to the proper performance of his office.
"I said to General Jackson that I was very sorry to give up Father--; that he was one of the most useful chaplains in the service. He replied: 'If that is the case he shall have a tent.' And so far as I know this Roman Catholic priest was the only man in the corps who had one.
"In my opinion those people who have made General Jackson a narrow-minded, bigoted Presbyterian have belittled him. He was a true Presbyterian and Christian, but not a narrow one. I remember one night he was in my tent very near Charleston, W. Va. It was a bitter cold, snowy night and he was sitting by the fire that I had <shv19_303>made. He said to me: 'I would not give one-thousandth part of my chances for Heaven for all the earthly reputation I have or can make. '
∴ return to top ∴
RELATIONS WITH MR. DAVIS.
"Was Jackson intimate with President Davis? When did you see him for the first time?" queried the scribe.
"The first time General Jackson ever saw President Davis was at First Manassas," replied Dr. McGuire. "The enemy had been routed and the wounded brought back to the field hospital which I had made for Jackson's brigade. Out of about eighteen hundred shot that day in our army six hundred or more were out of Jackson's brigade, and he himself had come back to the hospital wounded. The place was on the banks of the little stream of water just this side of the Lewis house. Hundreds of men had come back, the fight being over, to see about their wounded comrades, so there were really several thousand people gathered in and about that hospital. President Davis had gotten off the cars with his staff at Manassas Junction and ridden as fast as he could to the field of battle, He had been told along the route by stragglers that we were defeated. He came on down the little hill which led to this stream in a rapid gallop, stopped when he got to the stream and looked around at this great crowd of soldiers. His face was deadly pale and his eyes flashing. He stood up in his stirrups, glanced over the crowd, and said: 'I am President Davis; all of you who are able follow me back to the field.'
"Jackson was a little deaf, and didn't know who Davis was or what he had said until I told him. He stood up at once, took off his cap and saluted the President and said: 'We have whipped them; they ran like dogs. Give me ten thousand men and I will take Washington city to-morrow.'"
"You said that General Jackson was wounded at First Manassas. Can you tell me how he was hurt?"
"When Jackson made the celebrated charge with his brigade which turned the fortunes of the day, he raised his left hand above his head to encourage the troops, and while in this position the middle finger of the hand was struck just below the articulation between the first and second phalanges. The ball struck the finger a little to one side, broke it, and carried off a small piece of the bone. He remained upon the field wounded as he was till the fight was over, and then wanted to take a part in the pursuit, but was peremptorily ordered <shv19_304>back to the hospital by the general commanding. On his way to the rear the wound pained him so much that he stopped at the first hospital he came to, and the surgeon there proposed to cut the finger off; but while the doctor looked for his instruments and for a moment turned his back, the General silently mounted his horse, rode off, and soon afterwards found me.
∴ return to top ∴
WAITED HIS TURN.
"I was busily engaged with the wounded, but when I saw him coming I left them and asked if he was seriously hurt. 'No,' he answered, 'not half as badly as many here, and I will wait.' And he forthwith sat down on the bank of a little stream near by and positively declined any assistance until 'his turn came.' We compromised, however, and he agreed to let me attend to him after I had finished the case I was dressing when he arrived. I determined to save the finger if possible, and placed a splint along the palmar surface to support the fragments, retained it in position by a strip or two of adhesive plaster, covered the wound with lint, and told him to keep it wet with cold water. He carefully followed this advice. I think he had a kind of fancy for this kind of hydropathic treatment, and I have frequently seen him occupied for several hours pouring cup after cup of water over his hand with that patience and perseverance for which he was so remarkable. Passive motion was instituted about the twentieth day and carefully continued. The motion of the joint improved for several months after the wound had healed, and in the end the deformity was very trifling.
LIKE A CORPORAL ON GUARD.
"The next time he saw President Davis, so far as I know, was at the Poindexter house," continued the speaker, "after the battle of Malvern Hill. I had gone in the room to get some information from General Jackson after McClellan had retreated from Malvern Hill to Harrison's Landing, when I found in the room Lee, Longstreet, and Jackson, looking over some maps spread on the dining-room table. After awhile President Davis came in. General Lee greeted him very warmly. 'Why, President,' he said, 'I am delighted to see you,' and the meeting was very cordial. After he had finished shaking hands with General Lee, he turned to General Longstreet and his greeting here was just as cordial as with General Lee. He then turned and looked, as one may say, interrogatively at General Jackson. <shv19_305>
"When Mr. Davis first entered the room I recognized him and told General Jackson who he was. General Jackson believed that during the campaign through Bath and Romney with General Loring President Davis had treated him badly. Indeed, the treatment that General Jackson received from Mr. Davis on that occasion made him resign his commission, and this resignation was only prevented from going into effect by very strenuous efforts on the part of Governor Letcher. There were other things which made Jackson think that Mr. Davis had treated him unfairly. He had made some men whom Jackson ranked outrank him as lieutenant-general, and there were many other circumstances which caused Jackson to feel rather resentful towards Mr. Davis, so when I told him who the visitor was he stood bolt upright like a corporal on guard looking at Mr. Davis. Not a muscle in his body moved. General Lee, seeing that Mr. Davis didn't know General Jackson, said: 'Why, President, don't you know Stonewall Jackson? This is our Stonewall Jackson.' Mr. Davis started to greet him, evidently as warmly as those he had just left, but the appearance of Jackson stopped him, and when he got about a yard Mr. Davis halted and Jackson immediately brought his hand up to the side of his head in military salute. Mr. Davis bowed and went back to the other company in the room.
"The next time he had any communication with Mr. Davis was when he was dying, It was about midday on Sunday when I received a telegram from President Davis asking me to tell him how General Jackson was and sending some exceedingly kind and courteous messages to him. I sat down on the bed and read him this telegram. J. Randolph Tucker, who was helping to nurse the General, was in the room at the time. There was a silence for a few seconds afterwards, and then he turned to me and said: ' Tell Mr. Davis I thank him--he is very kind.'
"Dr. Jones, in some of his admirable papers, states that Jackson, when he left our army at Frederick's Hall, on the way then to join Lee and begin the campaign against McClellan, saw Mr. Davis as he passed through Richmond. I had frequent talks with Jackson about the long ride which he took with only one courier from Frederick's Hall to some point near Mechanicsville, and I am very sure he did not meet with Mr. Davis on that trip.
∴ return to top ∴
"I have been induced to begin the writing of my personal recollections <shv19_306>of Stonewall Jackson, partly because of some stories that have been told about him. Longstreet, in one of his articles in the Century Magazine, complains bitterly of Jackson not coming to his help when he fought the battle of Frazer's Farm. He states that Jackson owed him a great deal; that he had gone to his rescue at the Second Manassas by forced marches, reaching there and saving his army. He forgot when he was writing that the Second Manassas was a year after the Frazer's Farm fight; but he complains that Jackson was within a few miles of Frazer's Farm, just on the other side of the Chickahominy, and could easily have joined him in that fight.
"It was a brave and bloody fight that Longstreet made there. General Lee and Mr. Davis were both with General Longstreet in that battle. General Lee had ordered General Jackson to stay on the far side of Chickahominy, not knowing even then whether McClellan was going to Yorktown or the James river. Thinking it probable that he would go towards West Point and Yorktown, where his supplies were all stored, General Lee ordered Jackson to stay on that side and attack McClellan if he crossed in the direction of Yorktown. General Longstreet must have known this. If General Lee or President Davis thought the order ought to be changed they could have summoned Jackson at once to Frazer's Farm, but no order came, and I don't understand how Longstreet could have been so unjust to Jackson.
A GROSS ANACHRONISM.
"I wrote an article at the time to the Century myself asking them to make the correction as I have given it above, and they declined to do it. They seemed eager then only to publish something disparaging to the South. It is a gross anachronism, anyhow, that Longstreet should have said that he had helped Jackson repeatedly when in great straits, and then stated in detail the incidents of Second Manassas. The truth is, we left Generals Lee and Longstreet near Jeffersonton Monday morning about daylight. We crossed the river, went around the right flank of Pope, and that night encamped at Salem. We made that march so noiselessly, carrying no wagons, no wheel vehicles except cannon and ambulances, that Pope had no idea that we were coming. So strict were the orders about silence that that evening near Salem when the men were coming into bivouac they were instructed that if they saw Jackson they should <shv19_307>not cheer, and as he rode along the line every man had his hat off, waving it in the air, along the whole great column of soldiers, cheering Jackson by this enthusiastic but silent salute. Tuesday night we struck Bristow station, just this side of Manassas Junction, captured and destroyed four or five trains of cars, and that night Stuart, with some cavalry and infantry, took Manassas Junction.
"All day Wednesday we fought the advance of Pope's army, Ewell doing most of the work.
"Thursday we took our position between Manassas Junction and Thoroughfare Gap and terrific fighting occurred.
"On the morning of Friday we resisted the advance of Pope's immense army, and late Friday afternoon Longstreet got up and joined in the fight. He took four days to come over a way that we had opened for him in two.
"I never shall forget Jackson's anxiety that Longstreet should get up. Late Thursday night I rode with him a mile or two in the rear of our line of battle towards Thoroughfare Gap. I saw him get down off his horse and put his ear to the ground to listen if he could hear Longstreet's column advancing. I never shall forget the sad look of the man that night as he gazed towards Thoroughfare Gap, wishing for Longstreet to come. That night I told him of the number of killed--intimate personal friends of ours--of Baylor and Neff and Botts, and I added presently: 'We have only won this day by hard fighting.' He was full of emotion when he turned around to me and said: 'No, sir, we have won this day by the blessing of Almighty God.'"
∴ return to top ∴
THE SCENE AT MANASSAS.
"I would like to hear your story of how Jackson got the name of "Stonewall," said the reporter.
"The Stonewall brigade arrived at Manassas Junction late in the evening of July 20, 1861," replied the Doctor. "We got there after dark, camped alongside the road, and next morning at daylight started to march in the direction of the sound of the firing. When Jackson and his brigade arrived very near the field of battle he met Bee's brigade coming back in great disorder. The men had evidently been badly whipped. Jackson carried his men on through these disorganized troops and formed it in line of battle upon the hill. He had been there but a few minutes when a violent attack was made upon him by the Federals. Bee, in encouraging his troops to reform and go back to the battle-field, cried out: 'There stands <shv19_308>Jackson like a stone wall--rally behind the Virginians.' This is the way the name Stonewall originated.
"Jackson always insisted in talking to me that the name belonged to the brigade and not to him.
"After he was wounded at Chancellorsville, and when I spoke to him of the death of General Paxton, and the remarkable behavior of the Stonewall brigade on the field the day before, he said: 'The men who belonged to that brigade will some day be proud to say to their children, 'I was one of the Stonewall brigade.'
HE FOUND HER BOY FOR HER.
"To show Jackson's great kindness and consideration for even poor and ignorant people, I remember an incident which happened in the Valley of Virginia while the troops were marching up the Valley turnpike.
"As Jackson rode along with his staff he was accosted by a poor, plain country woman to know if he was 'Mr. Jackson' and if the troops in the road were his 'company.' She had brought two or three pair of stockings and some little provisions for her son, who, she told General Jackson, was in his 'company.' The army then probably consisted of thirty thousand men. It was of course made up of divisions, brigades, and regiments, and a great many companies, but this woman only knew that her son 'John' belonged to Jackson's 'company,' and she expressed a great deal of surprise when General Jackson told her that he didn't know her boy. 'What,' she said, 'don't you know John ----? He has been with you a year, and I brought him these socks and something to eat.' She began to cry bitterly.
"Some members of the staff were disposed to laugh, but Jackson stopped them; got down from his horse and tried to explain to the woman how it was impossible that he should know her son, a simple private in the ranks, but she persisted he must know him, and she must see him, and that she had spent a great deal of time in fixing these things for him. He asked her what county the boy came from. He sent for Colonel Pendleton and asked him what companies were in his army from that county. He then sent three or four couriers to each one of the companies from that county, and found the boy and brought him to the woman, who gave him the presents she had for him. Probably he spent an hour altogether in doing this deed of real charity. <shv19_309>
∴ return to top ∴
A VISIT TO THE DYING GREGG.
"I remember when General Gregg, of South Carolina, was shot at Fredericksburg, an interesting incident occurred. General Jackson had had some misunderstanding with Gregg--what it was I have forgotten; but the night after this gallant soldier and splendid gentleman 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 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."
A FIRM BELIEVER IN STATES' RIGHTS.
"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 <shv19_310>imprisoned our helpless old men, behaved like an organized band of cut-throats and robbers (as they often did), that they should be treated like highwaymen and assassins. He hated no individual northerner--not one so far as I know, but he hated the whole northern race. He told me once that he had but one objection to General Lee, and that was that he did not hate the Yankees bad enough; that Lee was the only man he knew that he would follow blindfolded.
"The cry that he (Jackson) had been educated at West Point and was indebted to the Federal Government, was to him a farce. Who more than his own State made West Point? Who contributed to her glory as much as the men of Virginia and the south? Whose names in the wars of 1812 and 1848 live in history to-day?
"His allegiance was to his State. He loved it better than his fame or life, better than everything else on the face of this earth save his own honor, and anything or anybody that impeded the establishment of her sovereignty would be swept aside if it was in his power.
∴ return to top ∴
HIS HIGH OPINION OF NAPOLEON.
"In listening to Jackson talking of Napoleon Bonaparte, as I often did, I was struck with the fact that he regarded him as the greatest general that ever lived. One day I asked him something about Waterloo. He had been over the field, inspected the ground, and spent several days in studying the plan of battle. I asked who had shown the greatest generalship there, Napoleon or Wellington? He said, 'Decidedly, Napoleon.' I said, 'Well, why was he whipped, then?' He replied, 'I can only explain it by telling you that I think God intended him to stop right there.'"
"Did he exert much vigilance regarding the movements of the enemy?" was the next question asked.
"Jackson's knowledge of what the enemy were doing or about to do was sometimes very wonderful. I have already stated what he said to President Davis at First Manassas, and it turned out afterwards that he was right, and that with the number of men he asked for he could easily have captured Washington.
JACKSON'S PLAN AT FREDERICKSBURG.
"At Fredericksburg when he wanted to make an attack upon Burnside in the night, as I knew he did, he realized the demoralization of the Federal army and how easily they might have been driven into the river. He had made all of his arrangements to <shv19_311>attack Burnside. He intended first to push forward his artillery, and after that to let them go to the rear and the infantry to charge. What we found out afterwards showed that if the attack had been made by Jackson as he proposed the Federal army would have been drowned or surrendered.
"Another evidence of his apparently intuitive knowledge of what was going on in the enemy's ranks was at Malvern Hill. Late in the night of the last day's fight I found him asleep by the side of a tree and his faithful servant jim making some coffee for him to be ready when he awoke. While I was there several general officers came up and said that their commands were mobilized, and that if McClellan made an attack in the morning they would have no organized force with which to resist him. It was proposed presently to wake General Jackson up, and some one made the attempt, but when he went to sleep he was the most difficult man to arouse I ever saw. I have seen his servant pull his boots off and remove his clothes without waking him up, and so here at Malvern Hill on this night it was almost impossible to arouse him. At last some one got him up into a sitting posture and held him there, and another one yelled into his ear something about the condition of our army, its inability to resist attack next morning, etc. He answered: 'Please let me sleep; there will be no enemy there in the morning,' and so it turned out.
"This faculty of knowing what they were doing was a great point with Jackson. I remember at Chantilly, after the Second Manassas, a battle was fought in a torrent of rain, that an aide-de-camp came up and said to General Jackson: 'General A. P. Hill asks permission to retire; his ammunition is wet.'"
"'Give my compliments to General Hill,' said Jackson, 'and tell him the Yankee ammunition is as wet as his--stay where he is.'
"Not only this, but he estimated the character of the commander opposing him. I remember the night before the battle of Cedar Run I asked him if it was probable that we would fight the next day. He answered me: 'Banks is in front of me, and he is always ready to fight,' and then he laughed and said, ' and he generally gets whipped.'"
"By the way, Doctor," said the reporter, "did he have much sense of humor? Was he fond of joking."
"He was a difficult man to joke with," replied the narrator, "and it was not a safe thing always to try it, but occasionally when he did see a joke he would laugh very heartily about it. When he did <shv19_312>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.
∴ return to top ∴
HIS ADMIRATION FOR EARLY.
"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 embankment trained to shoot at the enemy's gunboats if they made their appearance 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 neighborhood. 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 armistice, during which both sides were busy gathering up their dead and wounded. While out there I saw a ragged, miserable-looking Confederate 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 trigger, saw that his own cartridge would fit it, and then, after great deliberation and some little hesitation, threw his old musket down and shouldered his new one.
WANTED HIS BOOTS.
"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, saying that the truce was to permit a removal of the dead and wounded <shv19_313>only, and that it was agreed that no arms should be touched. The Confederate scanned the Federal major from head to foot, moved a little to one side, and started on. The Federal officer rode in front of him again, and demanded this time more peremptorily that he should put down the gun. The Confederate looked at him as if inspecting him, and without speaking marched on. For a third time the major got in front of the soldier and threateningly demanded that he should put the gun down. The old Confederate looked at him very hard, examined him minutely and quietly, and then said: 'That's a monstrous fine pa'r of boots you got on; if you don't look out I'll git'em befo' night.' I don't think the Confederate's brain had ever comprehended or entertained the major's demand. His mind was occupied entirely in coveting his neighbor's clothes.
"When I told General Jackson of this incident he laughed very heartily.
"The major I refer to, turned around to me after the Confederate moved off with his new gun, and said: 'It's a hard case to be fighting men who want your clothes. Yesterday when I was in the column that made the attack, all along the line could hear the Confederate soldiers crying, "Come out of them boots; get out of that hat--we want them clothes," and I find to-day the dead that I have removed stripped of everything they had.'
"Talking about Jackson's propensity to sleep, I remember after the battles of the Seven Days' Fight Around Richmond one Sunday we went to Dr. Hoge's church. He went to sleep soon after the service began and slept through the greater part of it. A man who can go to sleep under Dr. Hoge's preaching can go to sleep anywhere on the face of this earth. When the service was over the people climbed over the backs of the pews to get near him, and the aisles became crowded and General Jackson embarrassed. Presently he turned to me and said: 'Doctor, didn't you say the horses were ready?' and I said, 'Yes, sir,' and we bolted out of church.
"Many a night I have kept him on his horse by holding on to his coat-tail. He always promised to do as much for me when he had finished his nap. He meant to do it I am sure, but my turn never came,
"It was told that at a council of war held by Lee, Longstreet and Jackson, that the last named went fast to sleep, and when roused and dimly conscious that his opinion was asked he cried out: 'Drive them into the river.' <shv19_314>
∴ return to top ∴
JACKSON'S GREATEST FEAT.
"What do you think, Doctor, was Jackson's greatest feat?"
"I think his greatest feat was his Valley campaign. He had in the Valley about 15,000 men all told. The Federals had between 50,000 and 70,000. Milroy was at Shenandoah mountain, Banks was near Winchester, Shields was about Manassas, and McDowell was west of the Valley. He so divided and engaged these different armies as nearly always when he met them to be the stronger party and whipped them in detail.
"Coarseness and vulgarity from anybody under any circumstances he would not brook. Swearing jarred upon him terribly and he generally reproved the man. Under some circumstances I have seen him forgive it or not notice it. I remember when the gallant General Trimble was a brigadier-general he expected and thought he ought to be made a major-general, but when the appointments came out he was disappointed. I heard him talking about it to General Jackson one night. The old General was wrought up into a state of great indignation from his disappointment, and turning to General Jackson he said: 'By G--, General Jackson, I will be a major general or a corpse before this war is over.' Whatever General Jackson thought he made no reproof.
"I was once attending Major Harman, who was chief quartermaster. He was very sick for a day or two. General Jackson was anxious about him. One day in coming out of Harman's quarters I met the General, who was standing, waiting to see me. He said: 'Doctor, how is Harman to-day?' I said: 'He must be better, for he is swearing again.' General Jackson gave Harman such a lecture next day that Colonel Pendleton advised me to keep out of Harman's way, as he swore he was going to shoot me.
HE DID NOT REPROVE LINDSAY WALKER.
"He caught Lindsay Walker swearing once under circumstances that he did not reprove him. It was at Cedar Run. The left wing of our army was commanded by Winder, and soon after the engagement began Winder was killed, and our troops on that side were pushed so hard that they broke and ran. General Walker had his battalion of artillery in the road; it was impossible to turn them around and get them out of the way, and they were in great danger of being captured. So Walker tried to rally the men and form a new line of <shv19_315>battle. He would get a few men together, leave them to rally some others, and find that his first squad was gone. He was swearing outrageously. He had his long sword out and was riding up and down the little straggling line that he had when Jackson rode up. The latter had seen the disaster from his point of observation, and had come over to correct it if possible. On his way he ordered the Stonewall brigade, which had been left in reserve, at a 'double quick,' but rode on in front of them to the scene of the trouble. He had lost his hat in the woods, and had his sword out. It was the only time I ever saw him with his sword out in battle. As soon as Walker saw him he stopped swearing. General Jackson, apparently simply conscious that Walker was using his efforts to rally the men, said: 'That's right, General; give it to them.' General Walker continued his work and in his own way.
"I was one day moving some wounded from the church, in Port Republic, men who had been hurt when Ashby was killed, just before the battle of Port Republic, when the enemy sent two pieces of artillery close up to the town and began shelling the village. They fired at the church steeple, as the most prominent point, and it was difficult for me to make the wagoners and ambulance drivers wait until the wounded were put in these conveyances. I was riding up and down the line of wagons and ambulances, swearing at the men in a right lively manner. I did not know that General Jackson was in a mile or two of me, when I felt his hand upon my shoulder and he quietly asked me: 'Doctor, don't you think you could get along without swearing?' I told him I would try, but I did not know whether I would accomplish it or not.
"His habits of life were very simple. He preferred plain, simple food and generally ate right heartily of it. Corn bread and butter and milk always satisfied him. He used no tobacco and rarely ever drank any whiskey or wine. One bitter cold night at Dam No. 5, on the Potomac river, when we could light no fire because of the proximity of the enemy, I gave him a drink of whiskey. He made a wry face in swallowing it, and I said to him: ' Isn't the whiskey good?' He answered: 'Yes, very; I like it, and that's the reason 1 don't drink it.'"
∴ return to top ∴
OTHER BIOGRAPHICAL DATA.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born in Clarksburg, W. Va., (then a part of Virginia,) January 21, 1824. At the age of eighteen he <shv19_316>was appointed to West Point, but owing to the fact that he was poorly prepared to enter that institution he never took a high standing in his classes. He was graduated in 1848 and ordered to Mexico, where he was attached as a lieutenant to Magruder's battery-He took part in Scott's campaign from Vera Cruz to the city of Mexico, and was twice breveted for gallant conduct--at Cherubusco and Chapultepec--attaining the rank finally of first lieutenant of artillery. After the Mexican war he was on duty for a time at Fort Hamilton, New York harbor, and subsequently at Fort Meade, Fla., but in 1851 ill health caused him to resign his commission in the army and return to his native State, where he was elected Professor of Natural Sciences and Artillery Tactics over such competitors as McClellan, Rosecrans, Foster, Peck, and G. W. Smith, all of whom were recommended by the faculty at West Point.
Soon after entering upon his duties at the institute he married a daughter of Rev. Dr. Junkin, president of Washington College, and upon her death in 1855 he visited Europe on leave of absence. Some time after his return he married a daughter of Rev. Dr. Morrison, of North Carolina, who is still living.
VIRGINIA'S CALL TO ARMS.
Upon the secession of Virginia Major Jackson (as he then ranked) was among the first to answer the call to arms of his State, and wrote to Governor Letcher, offering to serve in any position to which he might be assigned. The Governor immediately commissioned him a colonel of Virginia volunteers. He was placed in command of the troops at Harper's Ferry, and upon the formation of the Army of the Shenandoah, which was commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, he was placed in charge of the brigade with which his name was thenceforth identified. At First Manassas, where he gained the name of Stonewall, and where, as Dr. McGuire narrates above, he was wounded in the hand just before his brigade made its onset, he rode up and down the line and cried out three times, "Ali's well; the First brigade will have those guns! We will drive them across the Potomac to-night!" In less than thirty minutes the prediction was literally fulfilled. The brigade had the enemy in full retreat upon Washington. <shv19_317>
In October, 1861, Jackson was commissioned a major-general and sent to command the Valley district. In the course of the winter he drove the Federal troops from the district and went into winter quarters at Winchester, and early in the following March was there when Banks was sent against him. He fell back before Banks some forty miles, but then suddenly turned on him with only thirty-five hundred men and attacked him so fiercely that he retreated with all his troops.
∴ return to top ∴
THE CAMPAIGN OF 1862.
In April, 1862, Jackson entered upon a new campaign in the Valley. How he in detail and with Napoleonic celerity whipped Milroy, Banks, Shields and Fremont in this campaign, and then suddenly swooped down upon McClellan at Gaines' Mill, when the United States authorities thought he was still in the Valley, constitutes one of the most brilliant chapters in all modern warfare.
BACK IN THE VALLEY.
He took part in the operations against McClellan, and in July he was again detached and sent to Gordonsville to look after his old enemies in the Valley, who were gathering under Pope. He was now a lieutenant-general commanding the Second Corps. On August 9th he crossed the Rapidan and struck Banks another crushing blow at Cedar Run. On August 25th he passed around Pope's right flank, forced Pope to let go his hold upon the Rappahannock, and by stubborn fighting kept him on the ground until Longstreet could get up, and routed Pope at the second battle of Manassas, August 30, 1862.
THE MARYLAND CAMPAIGN.
Two weeks later, in the beginning of the Maryland campaign, Jackson invested and captured Harper's Ferry with eleven thousand prisoners, many stands of arms, and seventy-two guns, and by a terrible night march reached Sharpsburg on September 16th, and on the next morning commanded the left wing of the Confederate army, repulsing with his thin line the corps of Hooker, Mansfield, and Sumner, which were in succession hurled against him. Later in the day A. P. Hill's division of his corps, which had been left at Harper's Ferry, reached the field and defeated Burnside on the right. <shv19_318>
At Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, he commanded the Confederate right wing, and in May, 1863, made his Chancellorsville movement, which resulted in his death. On May 3d he received the wound which rendered amputation of the arm necessary. Pneumonia supervened and he died on the 10th of May. His remains were taken to Richmond, and after lying in state in the Capitol were taken to Lexington and interred in the Old Cemetery of the town, whence they were moved to the crypt beneath the monument on June 25th last. The monument is located only a short distance from the original burial-place.