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[91] kept minutely posted as to the condition of their departments. This was so well understood throughout the army, that I once heard a quartermaster say to his sergeant: ‘Have that horse shod immediately, or there will come an order down here from “Old Jack” wanting to know why the gray mare is allowed to go with a shoe off of her left hind foot.’

He kept the most minute knowledge of the topography of the country in which he was campaigning, and the roads over which he might move, and often when his men were asleep in their bivouack, he was riding to and fro inspecting the country and the roads.

But when he began to ask me which side of certain creeks was the highest, and whether there was not a ‘blind road’ turning off at this point or that, and showed the most perfect familiarity with the country, and the roads, I had to interrupt him by saying: ‘Excuse me, General, I thought I knew not only every road, but every footpath in that region, but I find that you really know more about them than I do, and I can give you no information that would be valuable to you.’

I can never forget another interview I had with him on the Second Manassas campaign. His corps had crossed the South Fork of the Rappahannock River, General Ewell's Division had been formed on the bank of the North Fork, and the rest of the corps were marching up between the two rivers to Warrenton White Sulphur Springs, where it was General Lee's purpose to cross his whole army, and plant it in General Pope's rear at Warrenton. In bringing a wounded man of my regiment—the 13th Virginia—back from Ewell's Division to our surgeon, and returning, I saw a skirmish line of the boys in Blue who had crossed at the forks of the river below, and were moving up in General Ewell's rear between him and the moving column of Hill's Division. I waited to satisfy myself that they were real Blue Coats, and becoming fully satisfied by their firing at me, one of the bullets cutting off the extreme end of my horse's ear, I had, of course, important business elsewhere, and was galloping to find General Hill, who commanded that part of our column, when I ran up against old Stonewall himself; I approached him, trying to be as calm as possible, and the following colloquy ensued:

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