Chapter 3: influence of Christian officers—continued.
The piety of Stonewall Jackson
has become as historic as his wonderful military career.
But, as it was my privilege to see a good deal of him, and to learn from those intimate with him much of his inner life; and as his Christian character is well worthy of earnest study, and of admiring imitation, I give a somewhat extended sketch of it.
I first came into personal contact with him on the 4th of July, 1861, while our army was drawn up in line of battle at Darkesville
, to meet General Patterson
The skill and tact with which he had reduced the high-spirited young men who rushed to Harper's Ferry
at the first tap of the drum into the respectable ‘Army of the Shenandoah,’ which he turned over to General Johnston
on the 23d of May, 1861, and the ability and stern courage with which he had checked Patterson
's advance at Falling Waters
, had won for him some reputation, and I was anxious to see him.
A colporter (good brother C. F. Fry
) had sent me word that he desired permission to enter our lines to distribute Bibles and tracts.
With the freedom with which in our army the humblest private could approach the highest officer I at once went to General Jackson
for the permit.
I have a vivid recollection of how he impressed me. Dressed in a simple Virginia
uniform, apparently about thirty-seven years old, six feet high, medium size, grey eyes that seemed to look through you, light brown hair and a countenance in which deep benevolence seemed mingled with uncompromising sternness, he seemed to me to have about him nothing at all of the ‘pomp and circumstance of war,’ but every element which enters into the skilful leader, and the indomitable, energetic soldier who was always ready for the fight.
Stating to him my mission, he at once replied in pleasant tones and with a smile of peculiar sweetness: ‘Certainly, sir; it will give me great pleasure to grant all such permits.