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[316]

Peculiar malady.

He informed us, however, of a peculiar malady which troubled him, and complained that one arm and one leg were heavier than the other, and would occasionally raise his arm straight up, as he said, to let the blood run back into his body, and so relieve the excessive weight.

I have heard that he often did this, when marching, and having become very religious, his men supposed he was praying. I never saw him any more, except at Manassas after the battle, when General Johnston and other officers were congratulating him upon his fine conduct in the battle. These peculiarities have often been regarded and cited as evidences of the great genius he possessed.

I have always heard it said that he was an advocate for raising the black flag, and showing no mercy to the enemy who were invading our country and destroying our homes. And it has often been said and written, that he urged General Lee to assault the enemy in the town of Fredericksburg by night, after their defeat, and while they were retreating over the river, and that General Lee refused to do so because of the peril to the people of the town. I have never heard of Jackson evincing any sympathy or gentleness, or merciful regard for the wounded enemies he must have seen, nor tender emotions of any sort.

Therefore, the delightful book lately published by his widow is a revelation and surprise. Nothing in all literature can equal the exquisite gentleness and sweetness this book gives us of the stern, stolid, impassive nature, who lavished such tenderness upon the object of his love. To her he unlocks a treasure of rich and pious and loving emotions, none of us, his most intimate friends, had ever before suspected to exist.

We are glad to know a new edition will soon appear, for every library is incomplete without his wife's biography of Stonewall Jackson.


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