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[130] that, for all save fools. All who served under him had already learned that there was in him abundant thought and counsel, deep and sagacious. He asked questions of all; sought counsel of none; gave no account to any man of his matters. Once only, did council of war ever sit for him, to help him to ‘make up his mind.’ And it was then, by their inferior sagacity, made up so little to his liking, that he asked such aid no more. Power of speech there was in him also, as I witnessed; such truly eloquent speech, as uttered quickly the very heart of his thought, and could fire the heart of the listener. But he deemed that the controversy he waged was no longer parliamentary; that the only logic seemly for us at that stage, was the ultima ratio Regum. To such respondent as the times then appointed unto him, the cannon peal, and the charging yell of the ‘men in grey,’ were the reply, which to him seemed eloquent: all else was emptier than silence

But instead of leading you to a brief review of his whole career, which would perforce be trite, because hurried, I would describe to you some one of the exploits of his genius, which best illustrates it. One of these I suppose to be Port Republic. Let me, then, present it to you.

To comprehend the battles of Port Republic, you must recall the events which ushered them in; the defeat of Milroy at McDowell in the early May of 1862, that of Banks at Winchester; the concentration of Generals Fremont and Shields towards Strasbourg to entrap Jackson at that place; his narrow escape, and retreat up the great Valley to Harrisonburg. He brought with him, perhaps, a force of twelve thousand men, footsore from forced marches, and decimated by their own victories. No more succours could come to Jackson from the east; the coil of the snake around Lee and the Capital was becoming too close for him to assist others; and all that the government expected of Jackson was, to retreat indefinitely, fortunate if he could at once escape complete destruction, and detain the pursuers from a concentration against Richmond. Such was the outlook of affairs upon the 8th of June. On the 11th of June, both the pursuers were in full retreat, broken and shattered, fleeing to shelter themselves near the banks of the Potomac, while Jackson was standing intact, his hands full of trophies, and ready to turn to the help of Lee in his distant death-grapple with McClellan. Such was the achievement. Let us see how his genius wrought it out.

The skill of the strategist is in availing himself of the natural features of the country, which may be helpful to him. In this case these


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