upon the struggle, then in its very inception.
In that fiery baptism, a man still unknown to fame was to receive, at the hands of a gallant soldier about to surrender his soul to the Maker who gave it, the name which, to the world, was to supplant that conferred by his natural sponsors, and by which he will ever be known as among the great captains of his race and of history.
The supreme effort of the Federal
commander was directed against the left of the army of Johnston
and upon the open plateau surrounding the Henry house
The battle was raging furiously, and seemingly the Southern
line at that Point was on the verge of utter disaster, when the Carolinian, General Barnard E. Bee
, rode from his shattered and wavering brigade over to where Jackson
still held fast with his mountain men.
‘General,’ he said in tones of anguish, ‘they are beating us back.’
‘no, sir,’ was the grim reply; ‘we will give them the bayonet.’
rode back and spoke to his brigade: ‘look at Jackson
there, standing like a stone wall.
Rally behind the Virginians!’
and the front of battle was restored.
The rest is history.
thus it came to pass that popular inquiry began as to who this man Jackson
might be, and what were his credentials and antecedents.
The young cadets from the Virginia Military Institute, who promptly flocked to the colors of the State
and of the Confederacy
, could give but little satisfactory information; to their boyish minds he was just ‘old Jack
,’ instructor in natural philosophy and artillery tactics, something of a martinet and stickler for observance of regulation, and, on the whole, rather ‘queer’ and not at all approachable.
That he should be in command of a brigade seemed to them due far more to some peculiar fortune than to any inherent fitness residing in him. True, he was said to have graduated from the