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[44] of Chew. Though Jackson's forward movements were like the rushes of the storm, yet, far in advance, the smoke of Chew's guns told where the heaviest blows would fall. In the retreat, too, though Jackson moved with wonderful speed, yet, Parthian like, he fought as he fled, and though often threatened by overwhelming foes, he felt secure from surprise, for the rattle of Ashby's small arms, the sound of Chew's guns, told him always exactly the whereabouts of the Federal advances.

At Tom's Brook, though two guns were lost, never was witnessed greater valor. The lines of blue almost surrounded it, sharpshooters poured volleys into its ranks; squadron after squadron of blue, on flank and rear, dashed at it, and not until the gray was lost in the surging waves of blue did its gallant gunners cease pouring grape and canister into the ranks of the enemy.

In this battle Major Thomson had three horses killed under him. If I cannot speak of Major Thomson without speaking of his old command, it is because the two cannot be separated in measuring the merit of either.

He was always ready to lead a cavalry charge, no matter how forlorn was the hope of success. Often when the service was such that the artillery had to be left behind, he became, for the time, the most daring of cavalrymen, and, riding nearly always at the head of the column, was among the first to reach the foe.

His tall form and his face glowing with the ardor of battle, became a familiar sight to the whole brigade, for it was the regiment that was nearest the enemy, that, for the moment, was his favorite. Such, indeed, was his love of combat, that even at times when there was a cessation in the artillery firing, he utilized his leisure moments in riding along the skirmish line, or leading a squadron into action. Many are the stories told of Major Thomson's reckless daring. At Culpeper, in the fall of 1863, when the Federals advanced across the Rappahannock, and the overpowering numbers of infantry and cavalry forced Stuart to retire, one gun of his battery was captured. The enemy, by cunning action, had gotten in the rear, and driving off the supports, suddenly appeared, cutttng off all hope of escape, for swarms of Federals were at the same time pressing on front and flank.

Major Thomson, stung with mortification at the loss of his gun,

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