In repeating these stories 춘천오피 around our blazing log fire, and in describing their marches and hard times, the brave fellows made sport of all their discomforts and of their shifts to supplement deficiencies. They told with merriment of the times they had proudly drawn over their bruised feet boots found on the march, and had suffered such agony from the swelling of the compressed members that they were fain to implore a comrade to cut off the instrument of torture; of the time Mr. Giddings and his pretty daughters entertained them in Maryland, and of their dreadful embarrassment at finding they had ravenously swept the table of every biscuit, every bit of ham, every raw tomato—and had wanted, oh, so much more! And how some of them had been captured and soon released; but while prisoners and waiting for a train, how a Federal officer had talked most kindly to them, inquiring for old West Point comrades of his who were on our side; and how they on their part had asked after the welfare of Captain John Lea of Petersburg, who had been captured at Williamsburg,—to be told by this Federal officer that Captain Lea had been dreadfully wounded, and while 204 in the hospital had been nursed by a young lady with whom he fell in love, and that the officer had been present at their marriage in Williamsburg, and through his intercession and that of other old West Point comrades Captain Lea had been released. When the time came for parting with the courteous officer our boys had respectfully requested his name. "My name is Custer," he said. "I do not belong to any regiment, but am on the staff of General  McClellan." He was none other than the famous George A. Custer of the United States cavalry, destined to win for himself immortal renown, and to meet gallantly an early death in the fight with the 충주오피 Indians on the Little Big Horn River.

Many of these soldier boys—"boys" now no longer, but "veterans"—were from Petersburg, and had stood in line on the day when Alice and Tabb and Marian and Molly and all the other girls had waited with me to see them off. It was delightful to meet them and to hear news of the others. Where was Will Johnson? Where was Berry Stainback? Will had been captured "for no reason whatever except that he and Berry had but one blanket between them, and Will had to get himself captured when he found Berry had been, in order to continue to share the blanket, which was in Berry's possession," a story which Will's friends could safely invent for their amusement, as his known courage was beyond all doubt.

General "Jeb" Stuart was a great hero with these soldier boys, dashing as he did all over the country with his eight thousand mounted men. He was our 205 plumed knight—with his gold star and long feather. They never wearied of stories of his promptness, his celerity, his meteorlike dashes.

"They'll never catch him!" said one proudly. "They'll always reach the place where he recently was."

"He reminds me of the knights of the olden time," said a young lady.

"The mediæval knight, my dear young lady," said General Johnson, "would be of little use in this war. He would have stood no chance with one of Stuart's men."

"Fancy him," said another, "with his two hundred weight of iron on him, and as much on his big cart-horse. Imagine him, armed with a maul or a lance, a battle-axe, and six-foot pole, going into a fight at Manassas or Antietam."

"He would never get there," said the General. "A light cavalryman of the First Virginia would have ridden around King Arthur or Sir Launcelot half a dozen times while the knight was bracing himself up for action; and the Chicopee sabre would have searched out the joints under his chin, or his arm, or his sword-belt, and would have shucked him like an oyster before he could get his lance in rest."

And Jackson was another of their idols. Stories of his strategy, his courage, his faith in God, his successes, filled many an hour around the camp-fire in the hospitable Culpeper mansion.

But the chief idol of their 경산오피 hearts—of all our hearts—was our beloved commander, our Bayard sans peur et sans reproche, General Lee. The hand 206 instinctively sought the cap at the mention of his name. Indignant comments were made upon the newspaper criticisms of his early misfortunes in the western part of Virginia in the autumn of 1861, and one occasion was remembered when, his own attention having been directed to a fierce newspaper attack, as unjust in its conclusions as it was untrue in its statements, he was asked why he silently suffered such unwarranted aspersions; and he had calmly replied that, while it was very hard to bear, it was perhaps quite natural that such hasty conclusions should be announced, and that it was better not to attempt a justification or defence, but to go steadily on in the discharge of duty to the best of our ability, leaving all else to the calmer judgment of the future and to a kind Providence.

Happy was the private soldier who had seen General Lee, thrice happy the one who had spoken to him. Of the latter, a plain countryman, having listened to the personal incidents of his fellows, as they related various occasions when they had been noticed by General Lee, was fired by a desire to emulate them, and confided that he, too, had once enjoyed a very interesting and gratifying interview with General Lee. Importuned to tell it, the soldier modestly hesitated, but urged by an evident incredulity on the part of his hearers, he took heart of grace and related as follows:—

"I was jest out of the horspittle an' was natchelly strollin' round when the scrimmage was goin' on, and I saw Gen'ral Lee on a little rise not fur off. I santered closer an' closer to him, and when I saw 207 him look at me I says, 'Pretty warm work over thar, Gen'ral.' He give me a keen look, an' says he, quiet-like: 'Where do you belong? Where's your regiment?' An' I says, 'I'm lookin' for my regiment now—Twelfth Virginia.' 'I can help you,' says he; 'there is your regiment just going into the fight. Hurry up an' join it.' An' I run off proud as a pigeon."

"Didn't you think you might get shot?" asked his comrade.

"I suttenly did! I always thinks that. But then, thinks I, Gen'ral Lee will be mighty sorry 'cause he knowed he sent me into danger when I was feelin' mighty weak an' poly."

The incidents were many which the officers and soldiers could remember, illustrating the dear commander's peculiar traits. His aide, Colonel Taylor, has written me of one most touching incident:—

"Tidings reached General Lee, soon after his return to Virginia, of the serious illness of one of his daughters—the darling of his flock. For several days apprehensions were entertained that the next intelligence would be of her death. One morning the mail was received, and the private letters were distributed as was the custom; but no one knew whether any home news had been received by the General. At the usual hour he summoned me to his presence, to know if there were any matters of army routine upon which his judgment and action were desired. The papers containing a few such cases were presented to him; he reviewed, and gave his orders in regard to them. I then left him, but 208 for some cause returned in a few moments, and with my accustomed freedom entered his tent without announcement or ceremony, when I was startled and shocked to see him overcome with grief, an open letter in his hand. That letter contained the sad intelligence of his daughter's death.

"Scarcely less to be admired than his sublime devotion to duty," continued Colonel Taylor, "was his remarkable self-control. General Lee was naturally of a positive temperament, and of strong passions; and it is a mistake to suppose him otherwise; but he held these in complete subjection to his will and conscience. He was not one of those invariably amiable men, whose temper is never ruffled; but when we consider the immense burden which rested upon him, and the numberless causes for annoyance with which he had to contend, the occasional cropping out of temper which we, who were constantly near him, witnessed, only showed how great was his habitual self-command.