The Character of Stonewall Jackson: Unassuming

“The new colonel was not at all like a commanding officer. There was a painful want in him of all the ” pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war.” His dress was no better than a private soldier’s, and there was not a particle of gold lace about his uniform. His air was abstracted ; his bearing stiff and awkward ; he kept his own counsels ; never consulted with his officers, and had very little to say to anybody. On horseback his appearance was even less impressive. Other officers, at that early stage of the war, when the fondness for military insignia and display was greater than afterwards, when the blockade had cut off the supply of gewgaws and decorations, made their appearance before their troops on prancing horses, with splendid trappings, and seemed desirous of showing the admiring spectators how gracefully they could sit in the saddle. The new colonel was a strong contrast to all this. He rode an old horse who seemed to have little of the romance of war about him, and nothing at all fine in his equipment. His seat in the saddle was far from graceful; he leaned forward awkwardly; settled his chin from time to time in his lofty military stock, and looked from side to side, from beneath the low rim of his cadet cap, in a manner which the risible faculties of the correspondent could not resist.

John Esten Cooke, Stonewall Jackson: A Military Biography, p. 36


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