previous next

[315] and soldier. He found himself after four years of study and scholarly achievements deprived of the diploma, which was the object of his long endeavor; without it his livelihood was imperilled. He was justly outraged by such harshness, and vowed he would castigate Jackson, and prepared himself to execute that purpose. He was a powerful and daring young man. The friends of both were deeply anxious—Jackson was urged to have him bound over to keep the peace. This would involve his oath that he was in bodily fear of his enemy. He replied: ‘I will not do it, for it would be false. I do not fear him. I fear no man.’ Then the superintendent had to take the oath as required by the law, and have the young man bound over to peace. When the war came on Jackson, upon his own promotion to a corps, had this young fellow made brigadier, and he became one of the most distinguished generals of the war, and is known to-day as one of the ablest men of our State. Jackson knew he had done his pupil a grievous wrong, and did his best to repair it.

It is a pity where there is so much to admire and wonder at that Jackson's biographers should claim for him accomplishments he did not possess. Some of them tell of his fine horsemanship. He was singularly awkward and uncomfortable to look at upon a horse. In the riding school at West Point we used to watch him with anxiety when his turn came to cut at the head or leap the bars. He had a rough hand with the bridle, an ungainly seat, and when he would cut at a head upon the ground, he seemed in imminent danger of falling headlong from his horse. One biographer tells us ‘as proof of his skill that no horse ever threw him.’ This proof would not satisfy a fox-hunter or a cow-boy, or any other real horseman. He could no more have become a horseman than he could have danced the german.

About 1850 Jackson was a lieutenant of artillery stationed at Governor's Island, when he was invited to accept the chair of Mathematics in the Virginia Military Institute.

In those days the government would grant an officer leave of absence for one year to enable him to try such an office before resigning his commission.

So he came up to West Point to see McClellan and myself and other comrades before retiring from the army. He was more cordial and affectionate than was usual with him, for he was never demonstrative in his manners, and he was in good spirits, because of his promotion and the compliment paid him.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
West Point (Georgia, United States) (2)
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (2)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Stonewall Jackson (3)
G. B. McClellan (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1850 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: