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[267]

Jeb Stuart. From the Richmond Dispatch March 4, 1901.


How he played Sheriff in a lawyer's bedroom.

To the Editor of the Dispatch:
After a long, and, perhaps, unnecessary hesitancy, I have concluded to give to you and other friends an account of the manner in which I became acquainted with him who was afterwards such a famous general of the Southern Confederacy.

When I was a member of the Richmond bar, the Supreme Court of Appeals had gotten so far behind their docket that the Legislature made strenuous efforts to unclog said docket. The special Court of Appeals, composed of the five senior judges (by date of commission) of the circuit courts, had proved insufficient for that necessary purpose; and there were established several ancillary district appellate courts. That to which appeals from the Richmond Circuit had to be taken was held in Williamsburg.

In or about the spring of 1854 (I think it was) I had to argue some cases in this court in the old ‘Middle Plantation,’ and went thither for that purpose. But my cases were set for particular days, and I did not go down until they were about to be reached. So that when I arrived, the rdoms at the hotel were so occupied that my friend, Albert Southall, could receive me only by giving me a bed in his large ‘omnibus’ room. with the reserved right of filling the other two double beds. On these terms, I took sole possession, with plenty of ‘elbow room.’

One afternoon, just about dusk, and in a heavy shower, a neat, light carriage all curtained up and drawn by two spirited horses drove up to the hotel, and as soon as the porter could open the door, three young gentlemen, with United States army trappings, jumped out and ran into the office. I had seen them for a few moments through the window of another apartment.


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