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One who ‘was out with old Stonewall.’

The moral influence of General Jackson.

The issue of a new ‘Life of Stonewall Jackson,’ from the pen of his wife, recalls attention to the remarkable personality of a man, for the like of whom we must go back to the times of Cromwell. He might have been one of Cromwell's ironsides, who feared no one but God, since he made war with tremendous vigor, and yet morning [371] and evening had prayers in his tent as if he were the chaplain, instead of the general, of the army. This extraordinary character, produced an impression upon his soldiers which remains to this day, of which a gentleman of this city furnishes us an illustration. It is Mr. W. P. St. John, the president of the Mercantile Bank of New York, who relates the following incident in his own experience: A year or two since he was on a business errand in the Shenandoah Valley in company with General Thomas Jordan, chief of staff to General Beauregard in the Confederate army, and at the close of the day they found themselves at the foot of the mountains in a wild and lonely place, where there was no village, and not even a house save a rough shanty for the use of the ‘track-walker’ on the railroad. It was not an attractive shade for rest, but rather suggestive of the suspicious character that lurk in out of the way places, yet here they were forced to pass the night, and could find no shelter but this solitary cabin, in which they sat down to such a supper as could be provided in this desolate spot. The unprepossessing look of everything was completed when the keeper of the station came in and took his seat at the head of the table. A bear out of the woods could hardly have been rougher than he, with his unshaven beard and unkempt hair. He answered to the type of the border ruffian, whose appearance suggests the dark deeds that might be done here in secret and hidden in the gloom of the forest. Imagine their astonishment when this rough backwoodsman rapped on the table and bowed his head. And such a prayer! ‘Never,’ said our friend, ‘did I hear a petition that more evidently came from the heart. It was so simple, so reverent, and so tender, so full of humility and penitence, as well as thankfulness to the Giver of all good! We sat in silence, and as soon as I could recover myself I whispered to my friend, “Who can he be?” to which he answered, “I don't know, but he must be one of Stonewall Jackson's old soldiers.” And he was! As we walked out into the open air I accosted our new acquaintance and, after a few questions about the country, asked: “ Were you in the war?” “Oh, yes,” he said with a smile; “I was out with old Stonewall!” ’ Here, then, was one of that famous ‘Stonewall Brigade,’ whose valor was proven on so many a battle-field. Such were the men, now white with years and scarred with wounds, who last summer, on the anniversary of the battle of Bull Run, thronged the hill-top at Lexington and wept at the unveiling of the monument which recalled their old commander. —Evangelist.

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Stonewall Jackson (3)
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