with an inebriated captain, and one of the party, delighted at the sight of a man who had found whisky enough to be drunk, sprang up from the fire and, brandishing a roasting-ear in his hand, leaped down into the road, and seizing the General
's horse, cried out: “I say, old fellow, where the devil did you get your liquor?”
In an instant, as the General
awoke, the fellow saw his mistake; and then bounding from the road he took the fence at a single leap, exclaiming: “Good God, it's old Jack
and disappeared in the darkness.
Yes, General Jackson
slept a great deal, but he was never caught napping.
He gave to sleep many moments which other men would have given to conversation.
He was essentially a silent man; not morose, but quiet.
He smiled often, rarely laughed.
He never told a joke, but did not discourage them in others, and if one struck his peculiar fancy, he would smile in mild approval.
He did not live apart from his staff, but liked to have them about him, and they were nearly all very young men. Universally polite in manner, he encouraged the liveliest conversation among them, although he took little part in it. He was not a man of words; they seemed to embarrass him. When he had ideas he put them into action, not into language.
His military dispatches were as brief as if studied, like the one he sent after the defeat of Milroy
: “God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell
He never discussed his plans; indeed, he never told them.
The next officer under him never knew his intention nor object.
He never volunteered his opinion to his superior, nor asked advice of his subordinates.
He was as self-reliant as he was silent, and believed “he walks with speed who walks alone.”
He was reticent to a fault.
“If my coat knew what I intended to do, I'd take it off and throw it away,” was one of his sayings.
This reticence often led to embarrassment and complaint from the officer next in command, and might have led to disaster in case of his death; but he evidently thought it better to run that risk than the risk of having his plans discovered.
He never called a council of war; when called into council by General Lee
, with Longstreet
, and the Hills
, he let the others do the talking.
If he made suggestions he did it briefly, and never attempted to sustain them by argument.
He advised the flank movement at Chancellorsville
, which resulted in the defeat of Hooker
and his own death; when it was vigorously opposed he did not defend it. General Lee
adopted it, and, as at other times when a hazardous movement was to be undertaken, he ordered Jackson
to execute it. I question whether he could have discussed his plans