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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