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[572] the Federal right for Jackson's attack. With one staff officer, I rode across and beyond the Plank road, in the direction of the Old turnpike, pursuing a path through the woods, momentarily expecting to find evidence of the enemy's presence. Seeing a wooded hill in the distance, I determined, if possible, to get upon its top, as it promised a view of the adjacent country. Cautiously I ascended its side, reaching the open spot upon its summit without molestation. What a sight presented itself before me! Below, and but a few hundred yards distant, ran the Federal line of battle. I was in rear of Howard's right. There were the line of defence, with abatis in front, and long lines of stacked arms in rear. Two cannon were visible in the part of the line seen. The soldiers were in groups in the rear, laughing, chatting, smoking, probably engaged, here and there, in games of cards, and other amusements indulged in while feeling safe and comfortable, awaiting orders. In rear of them were other parties driving up and butchering beeves. The remembrance of the scene is as clear as it was sixteen years ago. So impressed was I with my discovery, that I rode rapidly back to the point on the Plank road where I had left my cavalry, and back down the road Jackson was moving, until I met “Stonewall” himself. “General,” said I, “if you will ride with me, halting your column here, out of sight, I will show you the enemy's right, and you will perceive the great advantage of attacking down the Old turnpike instead of the Plank road, the enemy's lines being taken in reverse. Bring only one courier, as you will be in view from the top of the hill.” Jackson assented, and I rapidly conducted him to the point of observation. There had been no change in the picture.

I only knew Jackson slightly. I watched him closely as he gazed upon Howard's troops. It was then about 2 P. M. His eyes burned with a brilliant glow, lighting up a sad face. His expression was one of intense interest, his face was colored slightly with the paint of approaching battle, and radiant at the success of his flank movement. Was he happy at the prospect of the “delightful excitement” --terms, Dick Taylor says, he used to express his pleasure at being under fire? To the remarks made to him while the unconscious line of blue was pointed out, he did not reply once during the five minutes he was on the hill, and yet his lips were moving. From what I have read and heard of Jackson since that day, I know now what he was doing then. Oh! “beware of rashness,” General Hooker. Stonewall Jackson is praying in full view and in rear of your right flank!

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