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[344]

First glimpse of Jackson.

I had never seen General Jackson, though we had come down the Valley with him.

I at once turned my picket over to the next command and hurried to my first sight of the general commanding, T. J. Jackson. I had not very far to go, as Jackson always kept well up to the front. I found the different commands all awake, having been aroused by my first courier sent back. John T. Smith, with the prisoner, had no difficulty in finding the general's headquarters under a tree on top of a high hill. I rode up, saluted, and asked was this General Jackson. On receiving an affirmative reply, I told him I was the officer in charge of the picket at Halltown; had received order from him to report at once. His first question was, ‘What is your rank?’ (I had no marks on me, in fact had no coat on). My reply was, ‘first lieutenant, Company B, 2nd Virginia Cavalry.’ ‘How many men have you in picket with you?’ ‘Thirty,’ I replied. ‘Are you acquainted with the country?’ ‘Never was here until last night,’ was my reply. He expressed no surprise at there being no one on duty that night on picket before I came. After a moment or two he told me to go back to Halltown, to take a man with me and make a reconnaissance to the left of the Federal picket, going through a farm road up a rather steep hill (this hill was out of view of the Federal picket at the railroad crossing), not to threaten the picket, but watch closely, and to return to him and report what I saw.


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