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‘  have invaded our country, stolen our property, insulted our defenceless women, hung and imprisoned our helpless old men, behaved in many cases like an organized band of cut-throats and robbers. What can we do?’ ‘Do,’ he answered, and his voice was ringing, ‘Do, why shoot them.’ At Port Republic, an officer commanding a regiment of Federal soldiers and riding a snow white horse was very conspicuous for his gallantry. He frequently exposed himself to the fire of our men in the most reckless way. So splendid was this man's courage that General Ewell, one of the most chivalrous gentlemen I ever knew, at some risk to his own life, rode down our line and called to his men not to shoot the man on the white horse. After a little while, however, the officer and his white horse went down. A day or so after when General Jackson learned of the incident he sent for General Ewell and told him not to do such a thing again; that this was no ordinary war, and the brave and gallant Federal officers were the very kind that must be killed.1
The occurrence was at the battle of South Mountain, September 14, 1862. Colonel, then Major, Hobson was in command of the 5th Alabama, Rodes' Brigade. Colonel John B. Gordon had been placed by General D. H. Hill, the division commander, to prevent a flank movement by the enemy. The enemy was steadily advancing on the line of Rodes, and at the distance of 100 yards menaced a charge. An officer, mounted on a white horse in front, was impetuously urging them onward. The potent incitation was manifest to Major Hobson, and in the crisis, he felt the necessity of removing the officer. He at once selected skilled riflemen to “pick him off.” This was unerringly done, and at his fall the enemy hesitated, were checked, and the fortunes of the day changed. Subsequently, and not long before the battle of Sharpsburg (some comment having been made on the sacrifice of the gallant officer), states Colonel Hobson, an officer from General Jackson came to him with the “compliments of General Jackson” and the message: “Tell Major Hobson I want the brave officers of the enemy killed off. Their death insures our success. Cowards are never in the front; they skulk or flee!”
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