His admiration for Early.
There was a story in the army about General Early, for whose soldierly qualifications Jackson had great admiration. In the winter of 1862 and 1863, Early had command of the troops low down on the Rappahannock river. He had some guns on a high embankment trained to shoot at the enemy's gunboats if they made their appearance a mile or two down the river. The muzzles of the guns were lifted very high in order to carry a ball that far. It was told in camp that Early one day while inspecting the guns found a soldier sighting one of them which pointed to the top of a tree in the neighborhood. After sighting it for some time and very carefully, he turned to General Early and asked him, “if there was ary squirrel up that tree?” It was said the atmosphere was blue around there for a little while in consequence of General Early's reply. Whether the incident was true or not I don't know; but I know General Jackson enjoyed the story very much. For a short time during the Fredericksburg fight we had an armistice, during which both sides were busy gathering up their dead and wounded. While out there I saw a ragged, miserable-looking Confederate soldier, who seemed to have lost his command, and was roaming idly about, searching for something. Presently he found a new Springfield musket which had been dropped by some Federal soldier killed possibly a few hours before. He picked it up, sighted it, examined it with the greatest minuteness, cocked it, tried the trigger, saw that his own cartridge would fit it, and then, after great deliberation and some little hesitation, threw his old musket down and shouldered his new one.