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Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 9. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Stonewall Jackson in Lexington, Va. (search)
ior, was a vein of the most exquisite sentiment. In the soul of the man was that magnetism which attracted and that power which controlled and made him the master of his fellowmen. In after days, when I saw the uplifting of his dusty cap excite the wildest enthusiasm among his veteran legions, I knew whence the power emanated. The next time I heard Jackson talk was in a political meeting one night in the town of Lexington. It was during the memorable presidential canvass of 1860. Rockbridge county was a staid old Whig community. The majority of Democrats, under the leadership of Governor Letcher, supported Douglass. The Breckinridge men had a small force. The leading spirits of this faction called a meeting one evening at the court-house. It was a small gathering, and when the two leaders, Colonel Massie and Frank Paxton, had reported their resolutions, a voice from the rear part of the building, in a quick, decisive tone, was heard to call out, Mr. Chairman. All eyes were
Southern Historical Society Papers, Volume 9. (ed. Reverend J. William Jones), Reminiscences of the army of Northern Virginia, or the boys in gray, as I saw them from Harper's Ferry in 1861 to Appomattox Court-house in 1865. (search)
Military Institute, having been commissioned Colonel of the Virginia forces and sent to take command at Harper's Ferry. This promotion was a surprise, and a grief, to people who only knew Jackson as a quiet professor in Lexington. But Governor Letcher knew the story of his brilliant career in Mexico, and had faith in his soldierly qualities. When his name was presented to the Virginia Convention for confirmation a member rose and asked who is this Major Jackson? and the delegate from Rockbridge replied, He is a man of whom you may be certain that if you tell him to hold a position he will never leave it alive. I remember that we, too, asked when he first got to Harper's Ferry, the last of April; Who is Colonel Jackson? but during the month he held the command he showed so clearly that he knew just what he was about that we were almost sorry when we first heard, the last of May, that the command had been turned over to that great strategist, General J. E. Johnston. Frequent g