Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 25.djvu/103

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eral Pope reports, "during the rest of that campaign." The pres- tige of our troops and commanders was raised, and the Federal confidence in Pope diminished. But more than this, and more im- portant, Pope's plans were disconcerted and ten days were gained, by which time General Lee and the rest of our army joined us.

The imperturbable coolness of a great commander was pre-emi- nently his. He was always calm and self-controlled. He never lost his balance for one moment. At the First Manassas, when we reached the field and found our men under Bee and Bartow falling back when the confusion was greatest, and Bee in despair cried out, "They are driving us back " there was not the slightest emotion apparent about him. His thin lips were compressed and his eyes ablaze when he curtly said: " Then, sir, we will give them the bayo- net." At Port Republic, where he was so nearly captured, as he escaped he instantly ordered the 3yth Virginia Regiment, which was fortunately near at hand and in line, to charge through the bridge and capture the Federal piece of artillery placed at its mouth.

In the very severe engagement at Chantilly, fought during a heavy thunder storm, when the voice of the artillery of heaven could scarcely be told from that of the army, an aide came up with a mes- sage from A. P. Hill, that his ammunition was wet and that he asked leave to retire. "Give my compliments to General Hill, and tell him that the Yankee ammunition is as wet as his; to stay where he is." There was always danger and blood when he began his terse sentences with " Give my compliments."

One of the most striking illustrations of his courage and absolute self-reliance was shown at the battle of Groveton. He had been detached from General Lee's army, and in a march of two days captured Manassas Junction directly in Pope's rear and destroyed the immense stores accumulated at that point. After this he marched his command to a field which gave him a good defensive position and the readiest means of junction with Longstreet. At that point, if he was compelled to retreat, he had the Aldie Gap behind him through which he could pass and rejoin General Lee. Pope, disap- pointed at not finding Jackson at Manassas, and confused by the different movements that different portions of Jackson's corps had made, was utterly disconcerted and directed his army to move towards Centreville where they could easily join with the forces of McClellan then at Alexandria. Almost any other soldier would have been satisfied with what had been already accomplished the