ON the 3d of September, 1862, the Federal army under General Pope having been confounded, General Lee turned his columns toward the Potomac, with Stonewall Jackson in front. On the 5th of September Jackson crossed the Potomac at White’s Ford, a few miles beyond Leesburg. The passage of the river by the troops marching in fours, well closed up, the laughing, shouting, and singing, as a brass band in front played “Maryland, my Maryland,” was a memorable experience. The Marylanders in the corps imparted much of their enthusiasm to the other troops’ but we were not long in finding out that if General Lee had hopes that the decimated regiments of his army would be filled by the sons of Maryland he was doomed to a speedy and unqualified disappointment. However, before we had been in Maryland many hours, one enthusiastic citizen presented Jackson with a gigantic gray mare. She was a little heavy and awkward for a war-horse, but as the general’s “Little Sorrel” had a few days before been temporarily stolen, the present was a timely one, and he was not disposed to “look a gift horse in the mouth.” Yet the present proved almost a Trojan horse to him, for the next morning when he mounted his new steed and touched her with his spur the loyal and undisciplined beast reared straight into the air, and, standing erect for a moment, threw herself backward, horse and rider rolling upon the ground. The general was stunned and severely bruised, and lay upon the ground for some time before he could be removed. He was then placed in an ambulance, where he rode during the day’s march, having turned his command over to his brother-in-law, General D. H. Hill, the officer next in rank.
Early that day the army went into camp near Frederick, and Generals Lee, Longstreet, Jackson, and for a time “Jeb” Stuart, had their headquarters near one another in Best’s grove. Hither in crowds came the good people of Frederick, especially the ladies. General Jackson, still suffering from his hurt, kept to his tent, busying himself with maps and official papers, and declined to see visitors. Once, however, when he had been called to General Lee’s tent, two young girls waylaid him, paralyzed him with smiles and embraces and questions, and then jumped into their carriage and drove off rapidly, leaving him there, cap in hand, bowing, blushing, and speechless. But once safe in his tent he was seen no more that day. The next evening, Sunday, he went into Frederick for the first time to attend church, and there being no service in the Presbyterian Church he went to the German Reformed. As usual he fell asleep, but this time more soundly than was his wont. His head sunk upon his breast, his cap dropped from his hands to the floor, the prayers of the congregation did not disturb him, and only the choir and the deep-toned organ awakened him. Afterward I learned that the minister was credited with much loyalty and courage because he had prayed for the President of the United States in the very presence of Stonewall Jackson. Well, the general didn’t hear the prayer, and if he had he would doubtless have felt like replying as General Ewell did, when asked at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, if he would permit the usual prayer for President Lincoln—” Certainly; I’m sure he needs it.”
Stonewall Jackson In Maryland
By Henry Kyd Douglas, Colonel, C.S.A.- from the Official Records