‘  Cadet Hambrick, not trotting at artillery drill. Excuse: I am a natural pacer.’ If Major Jackson did laugh when he read this document none of us ever found it out, as the paper was probably read in private.
Auburn, Alabama, November 19, 1892.The above, clipped from a recent issue of the Richmond State, will doubtless be read with interest by the older graduates of the ‘West Point of the South,’ and at the same time serve to recall many interesting and amusing reminiscences of ‘Old Jack,’ as he was familiarly called by the cadets. The three gallant Virginia colonels who so gloriously gave up their young lives at Gettysburg were of the class immediately after mine, and the now eminent Baptist divine, Dr. Hiden, was a ‘plebe’ when I graduated. Many other amusing incidents connected with Jackson's career as a professor might be given to interest the public, and it is hoped that our distinguished educator, Colonel James T. Murfee, with his tenacious memory and graceful pen will soon follow Dr. Hiden's commendable example. We would like to know especially what was Colonel Murfee's scientific answer to ‘Old Jack's conundrum.’ Many of the Colonel's class of 1853 were ‘called up’ by the immortal Jackson and asked why a telegram—then a ‘telegraphic message’ could not be sent from Lexington to Staunton. The immense deposit of iron ore in the immediate neighborhood and other scientific reasons were assigned, to all of which Jackson gave that well-remembered shake of the head, while there was a twinkle in his bright eye and the faintest smile played around the corners of his mouth. Finally, ‘Old Gabe’—Gabriel Gray, another Baptist minister by the way—was ‘called up,’ and in his amusingly peculiar and blunt way, he jerked out the following reply: ‘I don't know, Major, unless it is because there is no telegraph line between this place and Staunton.’ During the laugh that followed, Gray stood blushing, while Jackson, with his eyes fixed immovably upon him looked like a statue. As soon as order was restored, to the great amazement and amusement of the whole class, ‘Old Gabe’ not excepted, Jackson, with a stiff military salute and a much more