This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
 I am satisfied this is but part of the secret. My father was a minister of the gospel, but possessed strong military instincts, and would have made a superb soldier. He was a sort of chaplain-general in the Army of Northern Virginia; and spent much of his time and did much of his work in the lightning corps of Jackson. Being an intense christian and an intense Calvinist, he and Jackson became warm friends, and he was much at headquarters, even in the general's tent. I distinctly recall his saying, ‘If required to state wherein Jackson differed most from other men, and wherein lay the great secret of his power, I should say—he came nearer putting God in God's place than any other human soul I ever met.’ The statement is as strongly characteristic of my father in form, as I believe it to be of Stonewall Jackson in spirit. This is what the world roughly termed his ‘fatalism,’—but it is also what inspired and impowered his life with a sense of divine mission and divine support, solemnized it with a sense of infinite responsibility, and steadied it by complete dependence upon Divine Providence and entire submission to the divine decrees. When Jackson hurled his columns against his enemies, it was in the strength of ‘The God of armies and of battles,’ and the war cry of his soul was ‘The Lord! The Lord! strong and mighty:— The Lord! The Lord! mighty in battle.’ While the cannon thundered and the battle smoke hung low, and the result trembled in the balance, his confident reliance was ‘The Lord God omnipotent reigneth.’ When victory perched upon his banners and the day was ours, his shout of triumph ever rose, ‘Now glory to the Lord of Hosts.’ An incident related by my father strikingly exhibits the connection between this religious or sentimental basis of his military system, and the theoretical and practical development of it. The details are not very distinct; but, as I now remember, Jackson was present at an informal military conference, probably not at his own headquarters. My father, observing the council from a little distance, noticed that, as soon as Jackson had uttered a very few words, his head dropped upon his breast, and he evidently slept. He was several times appealed to, and each time had to be wakened. After the conference had broken up, an explanation of his singular conduct being asked, his reply not only illustrates and enforces what has just been said, but presents a powerful photograph of this unique being, and his own statement of the fundamental proposition of his theory of war.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.