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[51] grandeur between the Blue ridge and the Alleghany mountains. There a ten years service, from 1851, allied him again with the western portion of his native State, identified'him with its interests, and explains his ardent desire to hold it as a part of the ‘Old Dominion’ forever.

General Jackson was accustomed to speak of western Virginia as ‘our section of the State,’ and no one deplored more than he the divisions among its people which exposed them to special severities during the war. After the brilliant victory at First Manassas, his thoughts turned to the reverses which the Confederates were suffering in his home country. Learning that Lee had been sent there, he expressed his wish to ‘go and give my feeble aid as an humble instrument in the hands of Providence in retrieving the down-trodden loyalty of that part of my native State.’ In August he wrote to Colonel Bennett, first auditor of the Virginia commonwealth:

Should you ever have occasion to ask for a brigade from this army for the Northwest, I hope mine will be the one selected. This is, of course, confidential, as it is my duty to serve wherever I may be placed, and I desire to be always where most needed. But it is natural for one's affections to turn to the home of his boyhood and family.

When General Jackson arrived at Winchester, he had at his disposal only the militia brigades of Boggs, Carson and Meem, McDonald's cavalry and Henderson's mounted company. Jackson began upon his arrival the important work of organizing, recruiting and drilling these troops, and was soon reinforced by his Stonewall brigade. The disasters which had occurred in the western counties were so dispiriting to the desolate people of that section, and their numerous and urgent appeals for relief and protection were so great that he felt the necessity of a vigorous campaign even in the midst of winter. His spirit was stirred within him as he heard of the rapid advances of the invasion over the land of his boyhood, and thus

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