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Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 2: the cadet. (search)
n was defective. Although his rural occupations had given a valuable cultivation of his powers, he lacked the facility of taking in knowledge, which arises from practice; nor was his apprehension naturally quick. He once stated to a friend that he studied very hard for what he got at West Point. The acquisition of knowledge with him was slow, but what he once comprehended he never lost. Entering, with such preparation, a large and distinguished class, he held at first a low grade. Generals McClellan, Foster, Reno, Stoneman, Couch, and Gibbon, of the Federal army; and Generals A. P. Hill, Pickett Maury, D. R. Jones, W. D. Smith, and Wilcox, of the Confederate army, were among his class-mates. From the first, he labored hard. The same thoroughness and honesty which had appeared in the schoolboy, were now more clearly manifested. If he could not master the portion of the text-book assigned for the day, he would not pass over it to the next lesson, but continued to work upon it unt
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 4: life in Lexington. (search)
rity of the climate, and the intelligence of the society, graced also by the faculty of Washington College, have always made Lexington an attractive residence. The prosperity and growth of the Military Institute calling for another instructor in this department, the eyes of its governors were directed to Major Jackson, by his high character, scholarship, and brilliant career in Mexico. Other names were submitted by the Faculty of West Point, among which may be mentioned those of General George B. McClellan, General Reno, and General Rosecranz of the present Federal armies, and the distinguished General G. W. Smith of the Confederate army. But the high testimonials given to Major Jackson, and his birth as a Virginian, secured the preference of the visitors, who elected him by a unanimous vote. The fortunate issue of their selection illustrates the wisdom of that rule so often violated by the people of the South, to their own injury and reproach, to give the preference, in all appoi
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 6: first campaign in the Valley. (search)
at Harper's Ferry, and having accomplished the temporary purposes of its occupation, by the removal of the valuable machinery and materials for the manufacture of fire-arms, determined to desert the place. The Federal commander, General Patterson, had now approached the Potomac northwest of Harper's Ferry, by the way of the great valley of Pennsylvania, so that against him the tenure of that post had become no defence. His purpose to effect a junction at Winchester with the forces of General McClellan, advancing from northwestern Virginia, was suspected. That town, situated in the midst of the champaign of the great valley, about thirty miles southwest of Harper's Ferry, is the focus of a number of great highways, from every quarter. Of these, one leads north, through Martinsburg across the Potomac at the little village of Williamsport, the position then occupied by General Patterson. Another, known as the northwestern turnpike, passes by Romney, across the Alleghany Mountains,
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 7: Manassas. (search)
with five thousand men, confronted a Federal army of four times that number, commanded by Generals McClellan and Rosecranz. Had this army been overpowered, as it was during the month of July, while General Johnston was at Harper's Ferry, the victorious forces of McClellan would have been in a condition to threaten his rear at Winchester. East of the Blue Ridge, General Beauregard was organizinal capital, and erected slight earthworks upon these eminences. Their object was to tempt General McClellan to an assault. But this leader was too well taught by the disasters of Bull Run to risk abeen expected, found itself confronted by a force of fourfold numbers and resources, under General McClellan. On the 11th of July, the little army, indiscreetly divided into two detachments, was asss Ford, their unfortunate leader was killed. It was this easy triumph which procured for General McClellan, from the Yankee people, the title of The young Napoleon, the most complete misnomer by wh
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 8: winter campaign in the Valley. 1861-62. (search)
t would then find the Federalists more firmly seated there; the loyalty of the inhabitants would be more corrupted by their blandishments and oppressions; the supplies, which should feed our soldiers, would be consumed by our enemies, and the country too much exhausted to sustain a vigorous campaign from its own resources; fortified posts would be created where none now existed; and, above all, the constant development of the military power of the United States under the management of General McClellan, might occupy all our forces elsewhere. His representations were so far successful, that about the middle of November, his old Brigade was sent to him, with the Pendleton battery, now under the command of Captain McLaughlin. Early in December, Colonel William B. Taliaferro's brigade from the army of the Northwest, consisting of the 1st Georgia, 3d Arkansas, and 23d and 37th Virginia regiments, reached Winchester. Near the close of December, the last reinforcements arrived from th
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 9: General view of the campaigns of 1862. (search)
material weight. Under the industrious management of General McClellan, their levies reached, if they were to be believed, trivers. Around Washington, swarmed the Grand Army of General McClellan, upon both banks of the Potomac; while its wings exteigence of the Federal Government was swelling the host of McClellan to two hundred and thirty thousand men, the command of Ged in a shoal of mud, a little too remote for combat. General McClellan was anxiously awaiting the first drying suns of March and to its capture, every movement was to converge. General McClellan was to drive back the left wing of the Confederate arthere been no armies on the theatre of war, save those of McClellan and Johnston, Banks and Jackson, these views would have b necessitate his retiring without battle, and yielding to McClellan the vast and precious circuit of country which has been do not feel discouraged. Let me have what force you can. McClellan, as I learn, was at Charlestown on Friday last: there may
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 10: Kernstown. (search)
neral Johnston, dated March 19th, stating that it was most desirable the enemy's force in the Valley should be detained there, and prevented from reinforcing General McClellan. To effect this, he requested General Jackson to return nearer the enemy, and remain in as threatening attitude as was practicable without compromising the the south side of the Rappahannock, begun March 10th, by which he so skilfully delivered his army, and its whole materiel, from the jaws of his powerful enemy. McClellan was also endeavoring to envelop him with his multitudinous hordes, and, to this end, was just drawing a number of regiments from the army of Banks, to aid in turs of General Johnston, were recalled. The army of the latter extricated itself from its perilous situation, and retired in safety behind the Rappahannock, while McClellan, foiled in his plans, arrested his advance at Manassa's, and began to consider the policy of transferring the campaign to the Peninsula. Yet, General Jackson
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 11: McDowell. (search)
armies of the Potomac had wholly changed their theatre of war. April 1st, General McClellan appeared at Fortress Monroe, on the eastern extremity of the peninsula beanks, if he were guided by a skilful strategy; and the Official Report of General McClellan, since published, shows that his instructions to that General were, to preans would permit. The forces at his disposal now amounted, according to General McClellan, to 25,000 men, besides General Blenker's Division of 10,000 Germans, whiDowell, detached from the grand army, against the urgent remonstrances of General McClellan, lay near Fredericksburg, to protect the capital in that direction. Oforces in Virginia was collected upon the peninsula, to resist the advance of McClellan. By the 17th of April, the fords of the North Fork of Shexandoah, above R at Washington, of recalling Banks, and of disturbing the arrangements of General McClellan on the peninsula. As General Lee remarked, the dispersion of the enemy's
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 12: Winchester. (search)
sert Richmond to the enemy. Not only was it left approachable by water; but the grand army of McClellan had pressed from the peninsula up to the neighborhood of the city on the east, while a strongd. General Lee, reasoning from the strategic principles which he thought should have governed McClellan and Banks, and from news of partial movements of the forces of the latter towards Eastern Virgoaches on the side of Fredericksburg; where they soon after suffered a disastrous defeat from McClellan's advance, at Hanover Court House. Jackson was also very nearly deprived of the assistance of capital, and thus make the most energetic diversion possible, to draw a part of the forces of McClellan and McDowell from Richmond. After allowing his troops two days of needed rest, the army was m capital, was the most ready and certain method to deliver Richmond from the approaches of General McClellan. Tell them, he said, that I have now but fifteen thousand effective men. If the present op
Robert Lewis Dabney, Life and Commands of Lieutenand- General Thomas J. Jackson, Chapter 13: Port Republic. (search)
rmy, of unknown numbers, breaking into Maryland by Harper's Ferry, and seizing Washington City. Just at this juncture, McClellan had pushed his right wing to a point north of Richmond, at Hanover Court House, and within a single march of McDowell'saters of the Pamunkey, connecting Richmond with Fredericksburg and Gordonsville, by the Federalists. Had the advice of McClellan been now followed, the result must have been disastrous to General Lee, and might well have been ruinous. The Federal he Confederates had no means to resist, with the addition of the forty thousand troops which they would have brought to McClellan's army, already so superior in numbers, would have greatly endangered Richmond and its army. .But the terror inspired biquitous leader; and instead of sending General McDowell forward, he commanded him to retire nearer to Washington. General McClellan was further ordered by telegraph, to burn the bridges across the south Pamunkey, won by his recent victory, and by
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