being allowed by night to indicate the presence of an army, that the enemy were kept in complete ignorance of the important movement.
The perilous expedition, and the responsibility which attached to it, did not depress the General
, but acted rather like an elixir upon him. His spirits rose high, and he relaxed much from his silent and austere mood.
On the march he conversed freely with Lieutenant A. D. Payne
, whose roused spirit kindled with his own at the approaching conflict, when a second time a great battle was to be fought on the border land of the hostile republics.
The General used few words, but probed his subject to the bottom.
His conversation was chiefly about the war, and he expressed himself freely about the merits of the officers of the Federal
army, but with more reserve as to the Confederate
They were passing through the country of General Turner Ashby
's nativity, and were at one time near the place of his birth and the scenes of his early life.
, but a little before, and while attached to Jackson
's army, had been killed, about the close of the magnificent campaign in the Valley
The career of the deceased officer had been brief, but as glorious as the morning star before it brightens into the perfect day. In a single sentence, Jackson
photographed this peerless soldier, who has-been so justly compared, for generosity and courage, to the immortal Black Prince
He said: “Ashby
was born a soldier, and I feel his loss now. He was a man of intuitive military perception; his judgment was never surpassed.”
At The Plains
, a village on the Manassas Railroad, about four miles east of Salem
, Lieutenant A. D. Payne
, with thirty men, was sent back to guide and accompany General Lee
, who was with Longstreet
's Corps, while Captain Randolph
, with the rest of the Black Horse
command, remained with Jackson
The lieutenant retraced his steps, and reported to General Lee
as he was crossing the Rappahannock
at Hinson's mill.
The troops were hurried on in the direction of Salem
, the track over which Jackson
had just passed, and encamped for the night between that point and Orlean
made his headquarters at Prospect Hill
, the seat of the late Dr. Jaquelin A. Marshall
, and was then the residence of his family.
With his staff, the General
found quarters in the house, but Lieutenant Payne
and his men camped in the yard.
By some unaccountable neglect, the main highway, leading past Prospect Hill
, and from thence to Warrenton
, had not been picketed nor guarded, so that there was that night between the Confederate
general and the Federal
army, which lay scattered between Waterloo
and Warrenton Junction, nothing but this open