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The officer who rode the gray horse. [from the New Orleans, La., Picayune, November 5, 1893.]

A stirring episode in the story of Confederate valor.

How Major C. L. Jackson won the praise of his gallant foe by his bravery in battle.

Out of the musty records of the past, from time to time, there springs to light some hidden treasure or letter, that brings back in [302] all its olden glory the chivalry and daring of the brave heroes of the Confederacy. The number of these precious, yet personal souvenirs, that are hidden away in the hearts and homes of the Southland, will never, perhaps, be known, as they have a personal and sacred value that seems too holy for the possessors to wish to parade them before the public, however important a bearing they may have upon the history of that memorable epoch.

In an old scrap-book in New Orleans, the property of Mrs. Fred N. Ogden, the widow of the late lamented General Fred N. Ogden, the writer recently came across an interesting series of autograph letters from noted generals of the Confederacy, that will one day possess a value the reader little dreams of now. Mrs. Ogden is a sister of the late Major C. L. Jackson, one of the youngest and bravest cavalry officers who ever mounted a steed, and drew his sword in behalf of the Southern cause. Major Jackson was a citizen of Vicksburg, and was among the first of the brave Mississippians who joined the army of the Potomac, and whose high courage became conspicuous. At Farmington, Corinth, The Hatchie, Chickasaw Bluffs and Greenwood, he exhibited the daring bravery for which he was so remarkable. But it was at Drainesville that his conduct was so distinguished as to draw expressions of admiration even from the enemy. The battle of Drainesville was one of the most hotly contested of the civil war. The Southern troops were in command of that brave Rupert of the Confederacy, General J. E. B. Stuart, Colonel Jackson was not a member of his command, but a staff officer of the brigade commanded by General Sam Jones.

He was on his way to join his regiment, when, passing through Drainesville, he saw the terrible battle in progress, and, without reporting to General Stuart, he immediately threw himself into the thickest of the fight, and the gray horse which he rode and its gallant rider were everywhere conspicuous in the midst of shot and shell. After the battle was over he proceeded quietly to camp Centreville, where General Jones had his headquarters.

That same evening, however, a courier came from the Federal camp, bearing the following message, written hurriedly in pencil and on a rough scrap of paper, to General Stuart:

Captain Thomas L. Kane, brother of the late arctic explorer, Dr. Kane, and son of Judge Kane, of Philadelphia, commander of the [303] regiment of northern Pennsylvania, sends his compliments to the commander of the Southern forces this afternoon, and desires to speak in terms of commendation and praise of the gallant conduct of the officer who rode the gray horse.’

Fairfax County, Va., December 20, 1861.
This old letter, faded and worn, is preserved in Mrs. Ogden's scrapbook, and appended to it are the following two interesting autograph letters from two of the greatest leaders of the Southern hosts:

headquarters Second Brigade, Second cavalry, Camp at Centreville, January 10, 1862.
Major C. L. Jackson, C. S. A. and A. C.:
My Dear Sir,—General Stuart has sent to me the accompanying note to be delivered to you. As I had not the honor of commanding the only regiment of my brigade engaged in the affair at Drainesville, I am glad that I was so gallantly represented by an officer of my staff—the rider of the gray horse. I cordially join with General Stuart in hoping that you may long be spared to the service and the cause, and when opportunity again offers, that our enemies may have cause to admire the gallantry of the officer who rode the gray horse at Drainesville.

Very faithfully yours,

Sam Jones, Brigadier General.

General Stuart's letter is written in the firm and flowing hand which characterized the great cavalry officer, and reads as follows:

headquarters cavalry Brigade, Camp Qui Vive, January 10, 1862.
To Lieutenant C. L. Jackson, C. S. A. Aid-de-Camp to Brigadier-General Sam Jones, and Volunteer Aid to General Stuart at Drainesville.
Sir,—I have the pleasure to enclose herewith a note which was sent to me by Colonel Kane, who commanded a regiment of Federals at Drainesville, on the 20th ult. From what I saw myself of your gallantry on that day, together with diligent inquiry into the matter, I am satisfied that you are “the officer who rode the gray horse.” Such a testimonial from an enemy must be very gratifying [304] to you and your friends, and I trust you will be spared to impress many more such Yankee colonels with the prowess of the gray horse's rider.

Fully concurring, on this one point concerning the battle of Drainesville, with Colonel Kane, I am,

Most respectfully and truly yours,

J. E. B. Stuart, Brigadier-General.

Major Jackson lost his life in an engagement at Bladen Springs, Ala., and in 1863 his obituary, written by General Dabney H. Maury, tells his heroic deeds. The original autograph copy is pasted side by side with these noble testimonials in Mrs. Ogden's scrapbook. Like him, the other actors in this pretty side drama of the Confederacy, have joined the hosts in the eternal camping grounds, but these letters remain as a refreshing insight into the private camp life of the great Civil War, and an evidence of the individual generosity which actuated a foe who knew what heroism in a soldier meant, and were not so narrow and sectional as to fail to recognize it.

[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, July 16, 1893.]

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