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 when he approached the locality of White Oak Swamp, for this was occupied by General Hooker, who held a position on the extreme left of the Federal army, extending within a very short distance of James river, and there was but one public highway between Hooker and the river, and this was the road this fearless cavalryman was upon and the only one by which he could reach the Confederate lines. Hooker could have closed this avenue easily had he been aware of his approach; but there was no demonstration whatever as this bold raider dashed into the lines of his friends with laughter and a merry twinkle in his eye. This feat has now placed him in a friendly and genial atmosphere; but he still has fifteen more miles to ride before he can reach the headquarters of his chief, and he hurries on to Fulton, at which point he gave orders to his guide to inform Governor John Letcher of his safe arrival and also that of his wife. He then went immediately to inform General Lee of all he had done. This is an inexhaustible theme, and it is impossible for me in these remarks to follow this chivalrous knight through all of his campaigns and to give you the faintest record of his great deeds. I followed him from the Peninsula through nearly all of his battles in Virginia and Maryland. I was with him on his advance into Pennsylvania, and in that stubbornly contested battle of Gettysburg, with him while covering the retreat from that bloody and ill-fated field, and I could give you some interesting incidents of it all if I had the time. There was continuous fighting from the time Stuart crossed the Potomac until his return to Virginia. In manoeuvering cavalry there has never been his equal in this country. He could always handle his command in such manner as to win a victory with anything like equal numbers of men opposed to him. He was a man who possessed a heart that was warm and generous, and one that could be easily touched. In proof of this, I will mention an incident which occurred on the Rappahannock, while the army was at rest. I had a young man in my signal corps who applied to me for a furlough. But I declined approving it, on the ground of his having just returned to camp from a leave of absence of ten days, and there were others who had not been to their homes for a year, and who were anxious to do so. Finding he could not get my approval, he sent his application through an irregular channel, setting forth the fact that his object in going home was to get married. Stuart, without knowing he had just returned to duty from home (for the applicant was careful in concealing this fact), returned the application to me with this indorsement: ‘Why ’
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