Headquartersfirst division third corps,
May 17, 1863.
This paper is forwarded with attention called to Brig.-Gen. Graham’s indorsement. The officer is under arrest on charges of misbehavior before the enemy.
Brigadier General commanding Division.
It is probable that the wounding of Jackson at this juncture was the most effectual cause of the Confederate check on Saturday night. It occurred just after Jackson had concluded to withdraw his first and second lines to Dowdall’s, there to re-form, and was making dispositions to move up A. P. Hill to relieve them. Orders had been issued to the troops not to fire unless at Union cavalry appearing in their front. Jackson, with some staff-officers and orderlies, had ridden out beyond his lines, as was his wont, to reconnoitre. On his return he was fired at by his own men, being mistaken in the gloom for a Federal scout. Endeavoring to enter at another place, a similar error was made, this time killing some of the party, and wounding Jackson in several places. He was carried to the rear. A few days after, he died of pneumonia brought on by his injury, which aggravated a cold he was suffering from at the time.
A. P. Hill was wounded somewhat later that night.
After the disabling of these two officers, Stuart was sent for, and promptly assumed command. With Col. Alexander, chief artillery officer present for duty, (Gen. Crutchfield being wounded,) he spent the night rectifying the Confederate lines, and selecting positions for his batteries. It had been Jackson’s plan to push forward at night, to secure the speediest results of his victory. But Stuart, after the attacks upon his right by Sickles and Pleasonton, and having in view the disorganized condition of his troops, thought wise to defer a general assault until daylight. Having submitted the facts to Jackson, and received word from this officer to use his own discretion in the matter, he decided to afford his troops a few hours of rest. They were accordingly halted in line, and lay upon their arms, an ample force of skirmishers thrown out in front.
No better place than this will be found in which to say a few words about the remarkable man who planned and led this movement about Hooker’s flank,—a manoeuvre which must have been condemned as foolhardy if unsuccessful, but whose triumph wove a final wreath to crown his dying brows.
Thomas J. Jackson entered West Point a poor boy, essentially a son of the people. He was a classmate of McClellan, Foster, Reno, Stoneman, Couch, Gibbon, and many other noted soldiers, as well those arrayed against as those serving beside him. His standing in his class was far from high; and such as he had was obtained by hard, persistent work, and not by apparent ability. He was known as a simple, honest, unaffected fellow, rough, and the reverse of social; but he commanded his companions sincere respect by his rugged honesty, the while his uncouth bearing earned him many a jeer.