Jackson's brigade — separation between him and them.

Centreville, Oct. 4, 1861.
Editors of Dispatch:
--I have not been in the writing way for some time, but cannot refrain from describing a scene which occurred here to-day. It is known that, since his promotion, General Thomas Jackson has been ordered to the command of the Northwestern division; and, on to-day, he bid farewell to the gallant brigade which had won for itself and him such undying fame on the plains of Manassas. This brigade consists of the 2d, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33d Virginia regiments. All of these regiments, except the 5th, were present, that being on picket.

The writer of this article never expects to witness a more touching scene. Drawn up in close columns stood the subaltern officers and brave men who had rushed with loud cheers into the very thickest of the bloody twenty-first of July day, and opposed with the combined courage and discipline of veterans the advance of the confident foe — the men who were all Virginia troops, and from that West Augusta to which Washington had looked in olden days as the last refuge of independence. Proudly had they vindicated the historic fame of their section at Manassas, and now they had again formed to say ‘"good, bye"’ to their loved leader. The glow which brightened their faces and lit up their flashing eyes in the fire of battle was gone, and sadness settled upon their sorrowful expression. They looked like children separating from a father, and, striking indeed to those who saw those brave men in the battle, was the contrast in their bearing then and on to-day.

On the 21st they had seen their own friends and kindred fall, and sternly fought on without shedding a single tear, or subordinating the duties of patriotism to the impulses of private grief; but now no foe pressed upon them, and that softness which ever accompanies true and tested courage asserted its away. No newspaper correspondents have daily stunned the popular ear with even justice to this glorious brigade, and, with the modesty of real merit they have not chosen to blazen their own deeds. But the real fact is that Jackson's command that day did hardly fighting and suffered more in killed and wounded than any other brigade. The writer of this is not attached to this brigade, but being in the battle and conversant with the facts, appeals to the lists of killed and wounded as his witnesses. These brave men can ask no higher testimony, and he desires no surer proof of his veracity. Other regiments would no doubt have done as well. The opportunity was given West Augusta and gallantly did she embrace it, as a bridegroom embraces his bride. Virginia has reason to be proud of all her troops, but to Jackson's brigade she owes her largest debt.

The appearance of Gen. Jackson was received with not the slightest applause. The officers and men he commanded knew for what purpose they had been formed, and felt not like cheering. Gen. Jackson briefly and feelingly addressed his assembled comrades as follows:

Officers and Soldiers of the 1st Brigade:

I am not here to make a speech, but simply to say farewell. I first met you at Harper's Ferry, in the commencement of this war, and I cannot take leave of you without giving expression to my admiration for your conduct from that day to this, whether on the march, the bivouac, the tented-field, or on the bloody Plains of Manassas, where you gained the well-deserved reputation of having decided the fate of the battle. Throughout the broad extent of country over which you have marched, by your respects for the rights and property of citizens, you have shown that you were soldiers not only to defend, but able and willing both to defend and protect. You have already gained a brilliant and deservedly high reputation throughout the army and the whole Confederacy, and I trust, in the future, by your own deeds on the field and by the assistance of the same kind Providence, who has heretofore favored our cause, you will go in more victories and add additional lustre to the reputation you now enjoy. You have already gained a proud position in the future history of this our second war of independence. I shall look with great anxiety to your future movements and I trust whenever I shall hear of the 1st brigade on the field of battle, it will be of still nobler deeds achieved and higher reputation won." Here Gen. J., rising in his stirrups, and casting his bridle reins upon the neck of his steed, with an emphasis which seemed to thrill throughout the brigade, said:‘ "In the army of the Shenandoah you were the first brigade; in the army of the Potomac you were the first brigade; in the second corps of this army you are the first brigade; you are the first brigade in the affections of your General, and I hope by your future deeds and bearing you will be handed down to posterity as the first brigade in this our second war of independence. Farewell."’

For a moment there was a pause, and then three loud and prolonged cheers rent the air. It was followed by three and three more. Unable to stand such evidences of affection any longer, General Jackson waved farewell and galloped away. The different regiments returned slowly to their quarters, and thus ended a scene not often witnessed, and which make upon spectators impressions not easily eradicated.

General Jackson's headquarters for the present will be at Winchester. His duties will be very onerous, and his responsibilities very great. But no one doubts that he will accomplish all which can be accomplished, by ability, energy, and courage. A detailed statement might be improper. The estimate in which he is held is proven in the Division to which he is assigned.

No news here. Usual rumors of an expected battle, but I do not credit them.

C. I., 18th Va. Vols.

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.
Jackson (Mississippi, United States) (3)
West Augusta (Virginia, United States) (2)
Harper's Ferry (West Virginia, United States) (1)
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.
Thomas Jackson (5)
John A. Washington (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.
October 4th, 1861 AD (1)
July 21st (1)
21st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: