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tions, to attain which afterwards cost them an untold expenditure of money and blood. It was to prevent them from securing so dangerous a foothold thus early in the struggle, that an army had been sent to the lower valley, and placed under the direction of an officer of tried capacity and courage.
JACKSON was superseded in command, as we have said, by General Johnston, on the 23d of May. He had been active and energetic in organizing, equipping, and drilling the troops; and every thing was to be done. Organization, instruction, and drill were only a portion of the labor. Transportation was to be secured, artillery horses collected, and ammunition to be obtained. The very harness to draw the guns was difficult to be secured. The volunteers were generally well armed, but the Ordnance Department of the Confederacy was wholly unorganized, and the few munitions then manufactured in the South were too defective to be relied on. General Lee showed Colonel Stuart, about this time, a miserable-looking percussion-cap, apparently exploded, and said sadly, “This is the best we can make.”
Jackson's energy soon achieved good results. The little army of volunteers was gradually moulded into something like an effective force; and although its equipments were not such as enabled it to take the field with advantage, General Johnston found himself in command of a very respectable body of troops. It consisted of nine regiments and two battalions of infantry; four companies of artillery, with sixteen pieces, but no caissons, horses, or harness, and about three hundred cavalry.
The troops were only partially drilled, several regiments almost without accoutrements, and the supply of ammunition was 2ntirely inadequate for active operations; but the character of the men who commanded this volunteer force was a sure guaranty that all defects would be speedily remedied. General Johnston was a thorough soldier, and had his whole heart in the cause.* Colonel J. E. B. Stuart, who commanded the cavalry, was characterized by untiring energy, clear judgment, and extraordinary powers of communicating his own brave spirit to his men. And Captain Pendleton, in charge of the artillery, was an excellent officer, a graduate of West Point, and devoted heart and soul to the South. The deficiency in harness for the artillery was readily supplied by the use of ropes and farm gearing: the cavalry were taught that more depended upon stout hearts, strong arms, and the élan of the true cavalier, than on the number or excellence of weapons; and into the ardent youths of the infantry were infused the stern courage, the unyielding fortitude, the daring, the obstinacy, the unshrinking nerve of Jackson. With Stuart in command of his cavalry, Pendleton in charge of the artillery, and Jackson to lead his infantry, General Johnston had an auspicious augury of the splendid results which, in spite of its small numbers, the army would surely achieve. Jackson had been assigned to the command of the First Brigade of the “Army of the Shenandoah,” as it was now called—consisting of the 2d Virginia, Colonel Allen; the 4th Virginia, Colonel Preston; the 5th Virginia, Colonel Harper, and the 27th (Lieutenant-Colonel Echols commanding), to which was soon afterwards added the 33d Virginia, Colonel Cumming. These regiments were composed of the very flower and pride not only of the valley, but the whole commonwealth; and this fine fighting material was rapidly taking shape from the iron hand of its leader. Jackson had already begun to mould his command into that phalanx which stood unbroken afterwards amid scenes of the most frightful carnage. It was to take his own impress, rejoice in being led by him, and, as the “Stonewall Brigade,” attain a renown which will live in the pages of history. The origin, embodiment, and organization of this famous brigade would afford material for an interesting sketch. For this we have no space, but a brief reference to the material and character of one of the regiments—the 2d Virginia—will convey an idea of the rest. This regiment was composed of young men from the counties of Jefferson, Berkeley, Frederick, and Clarke, where there had been scarcely a youth over fifteen who had not shouldered his musket and marched to defend the border. The ardor of the times burned in every breast, even in boys far below the military age, and it became wholly impossible to keep them at school. In vain did the mothers of these gay youths, trembling at the thought of exposing their weak frames to the hardships of the service, use every means of retaining them at home. The high spirit derived from courageous ancestors broke through all obstacles, and carried its point. The schools were deserted; the scholars laid down their textbooks to take up the musket; the towns, villages, and cross-roads were alive with young warriors, ardently learning the drill and the management of their arms; and from their own beardless ranks were elected those officers who afterwards faced the storms of battle at Manassas, Kernstown, Port Republic, and in all the great campaigns of the low country—of Maryland and Pennsylvania—with a nerve so splendid and heroic. They had, many of them, lived in luxury, but they strapped on the knapsack, shouldered the musket, and marched and fought and lived hard, with the contentment and resolution of veterans. There was little repining at hard fare or exhausting marches—and marched they were very nearly to death. They proved themselves thorough soldiers; accepted good fortune and bad with equanimity; and, advancing into action with a gay and chivalric courage, fought and died with a smile upon the lips. In the ranks of the regiment were persons of all ages and conditions—old men and boys, the humblest of the sons of toil and the heirs of the most ancient families—but there was no distinction which separated them. They were all united, trained, and working for a common object; and thus united they continued to the end. All that this excellent fighting material required in May, 1861, was a leader who could compel the respect, arouse the enthusiasm, and control and direct the chivalric impulses of the men. This leader was found in the person of Jackson
* The correspondent of a Southern journal thus described Johnston : “General Johnston, as you are aware, is a native of the proud old Commonwealth of Virginia, and a little turned fifty years of age. He weighs about one hundred and sixty pounds, is five feet ten inches in height—though he looks taller on account of his erect carriage—has a florid complexion, short gray hair and closely cut side-whiskers, mustache and goatee. His manners are rather quiet and dignified, and his general appearance and deportment highly military. Indeed, every thing about him—his bearing, style of dress, and even his most careless attitudes—betoken the high-toned and spirited soldier, who loves his profession, and whose soul revels in the din and uproar of the battle-field. His short hair and beard, high color, close-fitting uniform, striking air and self-possession, remind one of the game cock, the most courageous of all ‘the fowls of the air,' when clipped and trimmed and prepared for the ring.
“As a strategist he enjoys a very high reputation among military men. In his operations he regards masses and general results, rather than isolated bodies and mere temporary effects. And hence the opinion prevails, with some, that he lacks energy and enterprise. This, however, is a great mistake. No man is more watchful of his adversary, or more ready to strike when the right time comes; and when he does strike he delivers the blow of a giant. He sees but little advantage in picking off a man here and there, or in precipitating small bodies of men against each other. Instead of frittering away his strength, he seeks rather to husband it until the auspicious moment arrives, and then he goes to work with an energy and resolution that is wonderful.”
AN opportunity to test the efficiency of the troops was now near at hand. The Federal authorities had entered upon the campaign in Virginia with great vigor, and the surprise and capture of about 600 Confederates at Philippi, in Northwestern Virginia, seemed a happy omen of the future. The affair at Bethel, in Lower Virginia, on the 10th of June, was not so encouraging. At that place an attacking force of Federal infantry, about 4,000 in number, was repulsed by about 1,800 Confederates posted behind earthworks, and forced to retreat, with some loss, to Fortress Monroe. The most important field of operations was, however, on the Potomac, and toward the middle of June the great campaign in that region commenced. General McClellan was advancing from the northwest with an army of about 20,000 men; Patterson was moving from Pennsylvania on Williamsport with a force estimated at 18,000; and the “Grand Army,” assembling at Alexandria, was nearly ready to advance along that great war artery, the Orange and Alexandria Railroad, upon Richmond. To oppose the march of these heavy columns, the Confederates had about 23,000 men—of whom 15,000 were at Manassas, and about 8,000 at Harper's Ferry. Much reliance was, however, placed upon the officers in command at the points in question. General Beauregard, commanding at Manassas, was a soldier of recognized ability, and General Johnston was supposed to possess high qualifications for his position. Although the two armies were separate and distinct, they were within supporting distance, and could easily be consolidated. In case a movement of the large Federal force at Washington threatened to overpower the troops at Manassas, and thus open the way to Richmond, General Johnston could promptly evacuate the valley, unite with Beauregard, and oppose the Federal advance with the entire available force of the Confederacy in that region. Such was the general situation. We proceed now to the field with which we are more particularly concerned. Upon assuming command at Harper's Ferry, General Johnston made a complete reconnoissance of the place and its envi rons. The authorities seem to have regarded it at the time as a point of strategic importance, but Johnston's examination of the ground confirmed, he declares, his preconceived opinion that the position was untenable by any force not strong enough to take the field against an invading army, and hold both sides of the Potomac. In fact, this romantic spot is a species of triangle, of which the Potomac and Shenandoah, here mingling their waters,