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[146] the night of that 7th of June. Believe me, the problem did not then seem easy, or even soluble to us, as men whispered by the watch-fires, with bated breath: ‘Jackson is surrounded.’ Our eyes, then beclouded with apprehension, confused, saw no light; but he, clear-eyed and serene, with genius braced by his steadfast heart and devout faith, saw all possibilities, and whence deliverance might dawn out of seeming darkness. And these two chiefest traits of greatness I recognized in Jackson through these transactions: First, that urgent and critical peril did not agitate nor confuse his reason, nor make him hang vacillating, uneasy and impotent to decide between the alternatives, but only nerved and steadied his faculties; that he ever thought best where other men could least think. Second, that he knew how to distinguish the decisive points from the unessential, and, grasping those with iron strength, to form from them an inflexible conclusion.

Events, then, had showed Jackson these things by the close of Saturday, June the 7th. Why did he delay to strike this time, so unlike his wont? The 8th was ‘the Sabbath of the Lord,’ which he would fain honor always, if the wicked would let him. Not by him should the sanctity and repose of that bright, calm Sabbath be broken. When I went to him early, saying, ‘I suppose, General, divine service is out of the question to-day?’ his reply was, ‘Oh, by no means; I hope you will preach in the Stonewall Brigade, and I shall attend myself—that is, if we are not disturbed by the enemy.’ Thus I retired, to doff the gray for the time and don the parson's black. But those enemies cherished no such reverence. As at the first Manassas, and so many other pitched battles, they selected the holy day for an unholy deed. They supposed that the toils were closed again around the prey, and were eager to win the spoils before they escaped them. Shields, then, moves first to strike Jackson's rear, a detachment of cavalry, with two cannon in front, who sweep away the pickets with a sudden rush, dash pell-mell across the lesser river, into the street, almost as soon as the fugitives who would tell their coming. Then is there at Headquarters mad haste, Jackson leaping into the saddle and galloping (the pass even now scarcely open) for the bridge and his army; Staff following as they may; one and another too late (as Colonel Crutchfield, our Chief of Artillery), and captured in mid street; a few yet, more too late, and wholly unable to follow; I, of course, again doffing the black to don the gray, among these last. Right briskly did those invaders (bold, quick men, for Yankees,) occupy the village, plant cannon at each end of it, spy out Jackson's trains, and begin to reach forth the hand to grasp


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