previous next

[104] Do we not feel it to-day in every throb of our hearts, though the long years have rolled away, though three and one-half decades have done their sad work of effacement?

I would like to show you Jackson as a man, for I think that only those who were near him knew him, and to them the picture of him as a man with the heart of a man, is nobler, his memory as a true Christian gentleman is dearer, and he himself is greater—than even he seemed as a soldier.

Under the grave and generally serious manner, sometimes almost stern, there were strong human passions, dominated by his iron will —there was intense earthly ambition. The first time I was under fire, the attempt to diagnose my feelings did not discover anything that I recognized as positive enjoyment. I was not clearly and unmistakably conscious of that feeling until after I got out of it. I told General Jackson frankly what my feelings were, and asked him how he felt the first time he experienced it. Just a glimpse of his inner nature flashed forth in a most unusual expression. ‘Afraid the fire would not be hot enough for me to distinguish myself,’ he promptly replied.

There was in this great soldier a deep love for all that is true, for the beautiful, for the poetry of life, and a wealth of rich and quick imagination for which few would give him credit. Ambition! Yes, far beyond what ordinary men possess. And yet, he told me when talking in my tent one dreary winter night near Charlestown, that he would not exchange one moment of his life hereafter, for all the earthly glory he could win. I would not tell these things except that it is good for you and your children that you should know what manner of man Stonewall Jackson was.

His view of war and its necessities was of the sternest. ‘War means fighting; to fight is the duty of a soldier; march swiftly, strike the foe with all your strength, and take away from him everything you can. Injure him in every possible way, and do it quickly.’ He talked to me several times about the ‘Black Flag,’ and wondered if in the end it would not result in less suffering and loss of life, but he never advocated it.

A sad incident of the battle of Fredericksburg stirred him very deeply. As we stood that night at our camp waiting for some one to take our horses, he looked up at the sky for a moment and said: ‘How horrible is war.’ I replied ‘Yes, horrible, but what can we do? These people at the North, without any warrant of law, ’

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.

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)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: