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Colonel Walkers story,

My old Colonel, J. A. Walker, afterwards made brigadier—general and put in command of the Stonewall Brigade, told me this incident: While Ewell's Division was occupying Swift Run Gap, and Jackson had gone to meet Milroy at McDowell, Walker went up to Ewell's headquarters one morning to see him on some important matter, when Ewell passed him, and merely gave him the ‘military salute,’ and went on to the front of the yard, where he spent some time walking back and forth in evident impatience. The chief of staff told Walker that he had better not say anything to Ewell about his business then, as ‘the general was in a very bad humor that morning.’ After a time Walker started back to his own quarters, when Ewell stalked across the yard, planted himself in his front, and eclaimed: [84] ‘Colonel Walker, did it never occur to you that General Jackson is crazy?’ ‘No,’ replied Walker, ‘we cadets at the Virginia Military Institute used to call him “Fool Tom Jackson,” but I never thought that he was crazy.’ ‘Yes, he is sir!’ rejoined Ewell, ‘he is as mad as a March hare; here he has gone off, I don't know where, and left me here with no instructions except to watch Banks, and wait until he returns, and when that will be I have not the most remote idea. Now, Banks is moving up the Valley with a large force, and I do not purpose to remain here and have my division cut to pieces at the behest of a crazy man. I will march my people back to Gordonsville, if I do not hear from him very soon.’ That afternoon Ewell received from Jackson the famous message I have given in reference to his victory at McDowell, with the additional order: ‘Move down the Luray Valley, and I'll join you at Luray.’

It may be added that Ewell afterwards became Jackson's enthusiastic admirer; was accustomed to say: ‘I know nothing of this movement, but Jackson knows, and if the enemy are as ignorant of it as I am, then old Stonewall has them.’ He said at this time, ‘I once thought he was crazy, now I know he is inspired!’

He became Jackson's ‘right arm’ in his famous campaigns, until he lost a leg at Second Manassas.

Not long after the close of the Valley Campaign, when we were resting in the beautiful region around Port Republic, I got a short furlough to go to Nelson County to see my family, and my uncle. Colonel John Marshall Jones, Ewell's Chief of Staff, told me that if I would come by headquarters he would ride with me as far as Staunton. Accordingly, I rode by Ewell's headquarters, and just before we left the grounds, General Ewell came out and said to us in a confidential tone: ‘If you gentlemen wish to stay a little longer than your leave it will make no difference; we are going to move down the Valley to beat up Banks' quarters again.’

I did not overstay my brief furlough, for I was hurrying back in hope that our rest near Port Republic would give the chaplains especially good opportunities for preaching to the men, but when I reached Charlottesville, I found Jackson's troops marching through the town. Asking Colonel Jones afterwards [85] ‘Why General Ewell wished to deceive us,’ he replied: ‘General Ewell did not mean to deceive us, he was deceived himself. He never knows what Jackson is going to do.’

Jackson was anxious to be reinforced and move down the Valley again, but General Lee wrote him, ‘I would be glad for you to make that move, and will give you needed reinforcements; but you must first come down here and help me drive these people from before Richmond.’

Reinforcements were sent Jackson, and pains taken to let the enemy know, and Jackson so completely deceived them as to his plans that at the time he was thundering on McClellan's flank before Richmond, they were entrenching at Strasburg, some two hundred miles away, against an expected attack from him.

I remember that on this march we were in profound ignorance as to our destination. At Charlottesville we expected to move into Madison County, at Gordonsville we expected to move towards Washington, at Louisa we expected to move on to Fredericksburg, at Hanover Junction we expected to move up the railway to meet McDowell's Column, and it was only on the afternoon of June 26th, when we heard A. P. Hill's guns at Mechanicsville, that we fully realized where we were going.

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