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[28] to believe this feature more essentially characteristic of his military system, and more the secret of his success than any other single element. Obviously, there is amazing audacity in it, and, except under the guidance of genius, amazing peril as well; but, thus directed, incalculable and resistless power.

The fundamental maxim of war requires that the column should be fully up, on the ground and deployed into line, before the attack begins. With a column of from ten to fifteen thousand men, in our broken and wooded country, this would probably require and consume say from two to four hours, which are hours of warning and preparation to your adversary. Jacksons's tactics often annihiliated these hours—simply snatched them away from his opponent. Knowing where Jackson was a given time before, it was a safe and sure calculation that, the muskets that rudely broke the quiet of the Federal camp or the order of the Federal march could not be his. In accordance with the rules of war, being at Strasburg last night at dark, he simply could not be here at daylight this morning. Tested by these rules he is not here, and yet he is actually here, in overwhelming force and devastating fury. The first result is surprise amounting to stupefaction—the second, that impression prominent in the official reports of his defeated opponents—‘The rebels were constantly and heavily reinforced all through the engagement.’ No, no! Banks, Milroy, Fremont—it was only ‘old Jack's’ long column, electrified by the volleys that startled you from your blankets, and double quicking up into line and into battle.

Now, then, let us formulate Jackson's system of war.

1st. The religious or subjective basis. Intense realization of the sovereignty of God, with its normal effect upon the powers of his soul and the habits of his life.

2d. Ceaseless, aggressive activity, keeping the fighting fibre of his men from fatty degeneration, and keeping his opponents in a state of nervous alarm and dread.

3d. Celerity of movement—under the guidance of supreme military genius—resulting in rapid and victorious concentration of his own forces and fatal surprise to his foes.

4th. Attack with the head of his column, accentuating the consternation of his adversaries, and following up his first advantage with constantly augmenting force.

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