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General Jackson was never elated by victory, nor depressed by disaster. It might be said of him, as it was of Massena: β€œHe was endowed with that extraordinary firmness and courage which seemed to increase in excess of danger. When conquered, he was as ready to fight again as if he had been conqueror.” Always victorious, with one exception, General Jackson was not often called upon to illustrate this virtue. But at Strasburg, when he determined to wait for Winder, as Napoleon did for Ney in Russia, while Fremont and Shields were closing in on both flanks, and escape seemed almost impossible, his face was as pale and firm as marble, his thin lips shut, his brow thoughtful and hard; or at second Manassas, where his little corps struggled for hours and days against the army of Pope, and Longstreet did not come; when the sun seemed to stand still, and night would not fall, Jackson spoke not a word of hope nor fear. If he sought counsel of heaven, he asked none of man, and no man dared offer it. Such confidence and faith were contagious. His soldiers believed he could do anything he wished, and he believed they could do anything he commanded. β€œJackson's men will follow him to the devil, and he knows it,” said a Federal prisoner, and that was the philosophy of much of his success.

General Jackson was the wonder of the press. No officer, in either army, was the subject of so many newspaper paragraphs, and yet he knew nothing of it, for, as a rule, he never read the papers. No great man of this century has gone to his grave so marvelously ignorant of the wideness of his fame. Regulating his conduct with a view solely to his proper responsibility, he did not care what the world said of it, and never looked to see. At the beginning of the war, he used to glance over the papers to get at the news, but when he became the subject of their praise and speculations he stopped even that. The press, which proved a very Marlborough to some generals, had no effect on him. He had no war correspondents, and when in full command he permitted none in his army, if he knew it. He said he did not want his friends to know his movements, and certainly not his enemies. He wished no pen to write him into fame. It was said the press of the North gave Rosecrans his military reputation, and also took it away. They had no such chance at General Jackson. He made his own fame; but they have generously helped to make it world-wide and lasting.

But the press have done much to give the public a false impression of the religious side of Jackson's character. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church, a strictly Christian, liberal gentleman. But he was neither bigot nor Pharisee. He held his own devotions

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Stonewall Jackson (5)
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