Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Henry Kyd Douglas Relates a Comic Scene

Here is a rather funny account by Henry Kyd Douglas that reveals the relationship between Jackson and Stuart. It comes from Douglas’ autobiography, I Rode With Stonewall.

One night, after the middle of it, General Stuart came riding into our Headquarters accompanied by his artillery pet, Captain John Pelham, the “boy Major,” as he was afterwards called, or the “the gallant Pelham,” as General Lee named him at Fredericksburg… Everyone had gone to rest. Stuart went directly to General Jackson’s tent; Pelham came into mine. The General was asleep and the cavalry chief threw himself down by his side, taking off nothing but his saber. As the night became chilly, so did he, and unconsciously he began to take possession of blankets and got between the sheets. There he discovered himself in the early morn in the full panoply of war, and he got out of it. After a while, when a lot of us were standing by a blazing log-fire before the General’s tent, he came out for us ablutions.

“Good morning, General Jackson,” said Stuart, “how are you?”

Old Jack passed his hands through his thin and uncombed hair and then in tones as nearly comic as he could muster, he said, “General Stuart, I’m always glad to see you here. You might select better hours sometimes, but I’m always glad to have you. But, General” – as he stooped and rubbed himself along the legs – “you must not get into my bed with your boots and spurs on and ride me around like a cavalry horse all night!”