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[565] force the crossing of the swamp, and the passage of Colonel Munford with his cavalry regiment across at one point and back at another proved that Hampton was right; but Jackson contented himself with a feeble effort to repair the bridge, and remained all day an idle spectator of the gallant fight by which Hill and Longstreet finally drove the enemy from this field to the much stronger position of Malvern Hill. I have heard a number of our ablest military critics speak of this, and they did not hesitate to declare that Jackson made here a great blunder. The question is so interesting that I give the explanation of Jackson's warm personal friend and chosen biographer (Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney, who was then serving on his staff.) He says (page 466):
On this occasion, it would appear, if the vast interests dependant on General Jackson's co-operation with the proposed attack upon the centre were considered, that he came short of that efficiency in action for which he was everywhere else noted. Surely the prowess of the Confederate infantry might have been trusted, for such a stake as Lee played for that day, to do again what it had so gloriously done, for a stake no greater, on the 27th; it might have routed the Federal infantry and artillery at once, without the assistance of its own cannon. Two columns pushed with determination across the two fords at which the cavalry of Munford passed over and returned — the one in the center, and the other at the left — and protected in their onset by the oblique fire of a powerful artillery, so well posted on the right, would not have failed to dislodge Franklin from a position already half lost. The list of casualities would indeed have been larger than that presented on the 30th, of one cannoneer mortally wounded. But how much shorter would have been the bloody list filled up next day at Malvern Hill? This temporary eclipse of Jackson's genius was probably to be explained by physical causes. The labor of the previous days, the sleeplessness, the wear of gigantic cares, with the drenching of the comfortless night, had sunk the elasticity of his will, and the quickness of his invention, for the once, below their wonted tension. And which of the sons of men is there so great as never to experience this? The words that fell from Jackson's lips, as he lay down that night among his staff, showed that he was conscious of depression. After dropping asleep from excessive fatigue, with his supper between his teeth, he said: “Now, gentlemen, let us at once to bed, and rise with the dawn, and see if to-morrow we cannot do something.”

But, alas! the golden opportunity had passed. McClellan had done something. He had concentrated on Malvern Hill his powerful artillery,

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