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[64] for the men, and the Colonel tried to look severe and the battery commanders winked at each other and at Venable, when the latter said, ‘And now, sir, if I could carry any orders for you, as I see your Adjutant has gone.’

Thus it was that Stuart, who, on Jackson's fall on the evening of May 2nd, at Chancellorsville, had been put in command of Jackson's Corps, met Venable in the very thickest of the battle of the 3rd day. Venable had come up to ask his Colonel whether he didn't think ‘a bean ration would be good for the men.’

He never proposed that momentous question to his ‘Regimental Commander.’

Stuart, who handled Jackson's Corps on that day with superb skill, came suddenly in the woods upon the conscientious ‘Commissary.’ They had never seen each other since the old St. Louis days, but the recognition was instant. Stuart, who had sent off every staff officer with urgent, and almost inspired, orders, grasped his hand, and said, ‘Venable, I've sent off my last man. You must take this order to the left. There is no one else. I assume all responsibility.’ ‘Certainly, sir,’ replied Venable, saluting, and most delighted, and away he sped through the woods reverberating with the fierce, wild cries of the victorious Confederates, driving the enemy from their last stubborn stand. All through that glorious day (the tactical masterpiece of the nineteenth century, as was Leuthen of the eighteenth), Venable carried Stuart's orders, and when night fell, as they lay by the camp fire, told a kindred spirit how he chafed at ‘being in a bomb-proof.’

“I shall ask that for your services to-day,” said Stuart, ‘you be assigned my staff.’

For Stuart to ask (after his own brilliant work), was to have, and so Venable, within a few days, was assigned to the Headquarter Staff of the Cavalry, with the rank of Major, and announced in ‘General Orders’ as ‘Assistant Adjutant and Inspector-General of the Corps.’

From that time until his capture at the battle of Hatcher's Run (or Burgess's Mill), in the autumn of 1864 (Oct. 27th), the story of Venable's career is the story of that splendid body of horse, whose deeds gave Stuart his imperishable renown.

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