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[280] Corps, and no other men were in sight.1 He says that he rode towards the Confederate position, when ordered to do so, until he got “out of sight of the group, then made a circuit around it, and returned within my [his] own line.” This it was impossible for him to do from the position on the road where Wilbourn and Wynn were with Jackson, which was at the same spot at which the latter was when first fired on, without getting into the Confederate lines; nor could he have made a circuit around the party on the road without encountering the same troops that had. wounded General Jackson, as it must be recollected that he was, after having been taken from his horse, on the north side of the road, and when wounded he had not gone obliquely towards his line more than twenty paces before he was fired on by the troops, not more than thirty yards distant. Therefore, while he was being carried off by Wilbourn and Wynn, he was not more than fifty yards from the troops that had wounded him. The group that General Revere saw must have been a different one altogether from that with General Jackson. As it is possible he may have met another Jackson on the steamer, so it is possible that the cavalcade he saw may have been a party of Federal cavalry or horsemen cut off in the previous rout, and that the group of men around the wounded one he saw may have been likewise Federal officers or soldiers. The coincidence in regard to the order received in each case to ride and see what troops those were, would not be a hundredth part as remarkable as the fulfillment so literally of the “horoscopic prediction.”

But whatever may be the solution of his narrative, he must not expect us to accept as true the coincidence in regard to the “horoscopic prediction,” either as a “merely fortuitous” one, or as a fulfillment produced by “the evil aspect of the square of Saturn,” any more than we can believe that the “continuous wail” of the whippowil was composed of “spirit voices” foreshadowing the impending disaster.

In regard to the supposed mystery connected with the man seen by Wilbourn and Wynn, this is to be said: it would not have been at all remarkable if, in the confusion attending the rout of the Eleventh corps, some courier or other horseman belonging to the Federal army had been cut off and bewildered, and that when he found himself in the presence of the persons with General Jackson,

1 The road was cleared for a few moments after the second firing, as all persons on it had got out of the way to escape the fire, but General Hill and his staff soon advanced to the front.

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Stonewall Jackson (5)
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