previous next

[84] ‘Colonel Walker, did it never occur to you that General Jackson is crazy?’ ‘No,’ replied Walker, ‘we cadets at the Virginia Military Institute used to call him “Fool Tom Jackson,” but I never thought that he was crazy.’ ‘Yes, he is sir!’ rejoined Ewell, ‘he is as mad as a March hare; here he has gone off, I don't know where, and left me here with no instructions except to watch Banks, and wait until he returns, and when that will be I have not the most remote idea. Now, Banks is moving up the Valley with a large force, and I do not purpose to remain here and have my division cut to pieces at the behest of a crazy man. I will march my people back to Gordonsville, if I do not hear from him very soon.’ That afternoon Ewell received from Jackson the famous message I have given in reference to his victory at McDowell, with the additional order: ‘Move down the Luray Valley, and I'll join you at Luray.’

It may be added that Ewell afterwards became Jackson's enthusiastic admirer; was accustomed to say: ‘I know nothing of this movement, but Jackson knows, and if the enemy are as ignorant of it as I am, then old Stonewall has them.’ He said at this time, ‘I once thought he was crazy, now I know he is inspired!’

He became Jackson's ‘right arm’ in his famous campaigns, until he lost a leg at Second Manassas.

Not long after the close of the Valley Campaign, when we were resting in the beautiful region around Port Republic, I got a short furlough to go to Nelson County to see my family, and my uncle. Colonel John Marshall Jones, Ewell's Chief of Staff, told me that if I would come by headquarters he would ride with me as far as Staunton. Accordingly, I rode by Ewell's headquarters, and just before we left the grounds, General Ewell came out and said to us in a confidential tone: ‘If you gentlemen wish to stay a little longer than your leave it will make no difference; we are going to move down the Valley to beat up Banks' quarters again.’

I did not overstay my brief furlough, for I was hurrying back in hope that our rest near Port Republic would give the chaplains especially good opportunities for preaching to the men, but when I reached Charlottesville, I found Jackson's troops marching through the town. Asking Colonel Jones afterwards

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)
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.
Ewell (6)
Tom Jackson (3)
J. J. Banks (3)
J. A. Walker (2)
John Marshall Jones (2)
Stonewall Jackson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: