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would have been careless of his person; but in the Southern struggle he was utterly reckless. This indifference to danger was evidently a trait of blood, and wholly unaffected. Nor, for a long time, did his incessant exposure of himself bring him so much as a scratch. On all the great battle-fields of Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as in the close and bitter conflicts of his cavalry at Fleetwood, Auburn, Upperville, Middleburg, South Mountain, Monocacy, Williamsport, Shepherdstown, Paris, Barbee's, Jeffersonton, Culpeper Court-House, Brandy, Kelly's Ford, Spotsylvania — in these, and a hundred other hotly-contested actions, he was in the very thickest of the fight, cheering on the sharpshooters, directing his artillery, or leading his column in the charge, but was never hurt. Horses were shot under him, bullets struck his equipments, pierced his clothes, or cut off curls of his hair, as at Fredericksburg, but none ever wounded him. In the closest melee of clashin
the white horse came and went like a dream, said one who knew him at that time. And when he appeared it was almost always the signal for an attack, a raid, or a scout, in which blood would flow. In the spring of 1862, when Jackson fell back from Winchester, Ashby, then promoted to the rank of Colonel, commanded all his cavalry. He was already famous for his wonderful activity, his heroic courage, and that utter contempt for danger which was born in his blood. On the Potomac, near Shepherdstown, he had ridden to the top of a crest, swept by the hot fire of the enemy's sharpshooters near at hand; and pacing slowly up and down on his milk-white horse, looked calmly over his shoulder at his foes, who directed upon him a storm of bullets. He was now to give a proof more striking still of his fearless nerve. Jackson slowly retired from Winchester, the cavalry under Ashby bringing up the rear, with the enemy closely pressing them. The long column defiled through the town, and Ash
ghting their sharpshooters with canister, amid a hurricane of balls. At Sharpsburg he had command of nearly all the artillery on our left, and directed it with the hand of a master. When the army crossed back into Virginia, he was posted at Shepherdstown, and guarded the ford with an obstinate valour, which spoke in the regular and unceasing reverberation of his deep-mouthed Napoleons, as they roared on, hour after hour, driving back the enemy. Of the days which succeeded that exciting pe; and the ghastliest spectacle of blood and death left his soul unmoved-his stern will unbent. That unbending will had been tested often, and never had failed him yet. At Manassas, Williamsburg, Cold Harbour, Groveton, Oxhill, Sharpsburg, Shepherdstown, Kearneysville, Aldie, Union, Upperville, Markham, Barbee's, Hazel River, and Fredericksburg-at these and many other places he fought his horse artillery, and handled it with heroic coolness. One day when I led him to speak of his career, he
ce. The cavalry did not stop long. Soon the column was again moving steadily towards the Potomac, intelligence having arrived that General Hooker's main body had passed that river at Leesburg. What would Stuart do-what route would he now follow? There were few persons, if any, in the entire command, who could reply to that question. Cross at Leesburg? To merely follow up Hooker while Hooker followed up Lee, was very unlike Stuart. Strike across for the Blue Ridge, and cross at Shepherdstown? That would lose an immense amount of invaluable time and horse-flesh. Cross below Leesburg? That seemed impossible with the artillery, and difficult even for cavalry. The river was broad, deep, with a rocky and uneven bed; and so confident were the enemy of the impossibility of our crossing there, that not a picket watched the stream. Stuart's design was soon developed. We reached at nightfall an elevation not far from the Great Falls — the spot laid down on the maps at Matilda