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men had no more formidable weapons than the glasses, flags, key or index, pencils, etc., appropriate to them as members of the signal corps, and no other men were in sight.* He says that he rode towards the Confederate position, when ordered to do so, until he got “out of sight of the group, then made a circuit around it, and returned within my [his] own line.” This it was impossible for him to do from the position on the road where Wilbourn and Wynn were with Jackson, which was at the same spot at which the latter was when first fired on, without getting into the Confederate lines ; nor could he have made a circuit around the party on the road without encountering the same troops that had wounded General Jackson, as it must be recollected that he was, after having been taken from his horse, on the north side of the road, and when wounded he had not gone obliquely towards his line more than twenty paces before he was fired on by the troops, not more than thirty yards distant. Therefore while he was being carried off by Wilbourn and Wynn he was not more than fifty yards from the troops that had wounded him. The group that General Revere saw must have been a different one altogether from that with General Jackson. As it is possible he may have met another Jackson on the steamer, so it is possible that the cavalcade he saw may have been a party of Federal cavalry or horsemen cut off in the previous rout, and that the group of men around the wounded one he saw may have been likewise Federal officers or soldiers. The coincidence in regard to the order received in each case to ride and see what troops those were, would not be a hundredth part as remarkable as the fulfillment so literally of the “horoscopic prediction."
But whatever may be the solution of his narrative, he must not expect us to accept as true the coincidence in regard to the “horoscopic prediction," either as a “merely fortuitous” one, or as a fulfillment produced by “the evil aspect of the square of Saturn,” any more than we can believe that the "continuous wail ” of the whippowill was composed of “spirit voices” foreshadowing the impending disaster.
In regard to the supposed mystery connected with the man seen by Wilbourn and Wynn, this is to be said :-It would not have been at all remarkable if, in the confusion attending the rout of the uth Corps, some courier or other horseman belonging to the Federal army had been cut off and bewildered, and that when he found himself in the presence of the persons with General Jackson, he was at a loss what to do, and rode to the Confederate lines when ordered to do so, where he became a prisoner ; or it may have been that this man was a Confederate who, in the confusion produced by the fire that had done so much mischief to the mounted parties with Generals Jackson and Hill, became separated from the rest, and when he saw Wilbourn and Wynn attending to a wounded man, he may have stopped to see who it was, being in doubt whether he was in the presence of friends or enemies. If such was the case, he may, when ordered to do so, have ridden to see what troops were indicated by Captain Wilbourn, and meeting General Hill's party, did not return to report, as that party went immediately to where General Jackson was. This man
The road was cleared for a few moments after the second firing, as all persons on it had got out of the way to escape the fire, but General Hill and his stati soon advanced to the frunt.
may have occupied such a position as not to have heard of the inquiries afterwards made, or he may have been killed by the subsequent firing that night or in the battle of next day. There is really nothing mysterious about the circumstance, and the importance attached to it by both Captain Wilbourn and Mr. Wynn resulted very naturally from the excited state of mind in which they were, under the very trying circumstances in which they were placed. All engaged in the war have experienced the great difficulty of distinguishing between the Confederate gray and the Federal blue in the night, and this difficulty sometimes occurred in the day, at a distance. This incident of the man on horseback certainly attracted very little attention in the army, and the present writer, though he commanded a division in Jackson's corps at the time, and subsequently three divisions of the corps for a considerable period, when both Captain Wilbourn and Wynn were attached to his headquarters, never had his attention called to the affair until since the appearance of Keel and Saddle.
To complete the narrative of the circumstances attending the wounding of General Jackson until he was placed in the ambulance to be carried to the hospital, it is only necessary to state that when Captain Wilbourn left him to obtain some whiskey, after the first fall of the litter, Captain Leigh and the General's two aides, Lieutenants Smith and Morrison, remained with him and faithfully administered to him. The party had to lie down in the road for a time to escape the enemy's fire, and when it ceased along the road the General was assisted for a short distance to move on foot, but was again placed upon a litter, from which he had a second very painful fall, caused by one of the litter-bearers entangling his foot in a vine as the litter was borne through the brushwood on the side of the road. He was placed a third time upon the litter and carried to the rear, until he met the ambulance Dr. McGuire had provided for him ; and in this he was carried to the hospital, along with his chief of artillery, Colonel Crutchfield, who had been painfully wounded during the engagement. Dr. Hunter McGuire, General Jackson's medical director, has furnished a full account of the incidents occurring from the time he met the General on his way to the rear until his death,* and it may be relied on as entirely authentic, as may anything which Lieutenant, afterwards Captain, James P. Smith, the General's devoted aide and friend, may have stated or may state in regard to what he witnessed.
The interview between General Lee and Captain Wilbourn, when the latter communicated the sad intelligence, is presented by his own unvarnished statement in a far more touching light than it has ever before appeared in, whatever of the ornaments of rhetoric may have been employed; and the deep feeling which stirred the great heart of the commander of the Army of Northern Virginia on the occasion was as strikingly manifested in the anxious care exhibited for the comfort of him who had been with his great Lieutenant in his terrible calamity, and who had so faithfully and devotedly ministered to him in the trying scenes of the night, as in any other circumstance.
J. A. EARLY.
* Battle of Chancellorsville, by Hotchkiss and Allan. Published by Van Nostrand, New York, 1867
THE GREAT ASCIDIAN.
"In the dim obscurity of the past we can see that the early progenitor of the vertebrata must have been an aquatic animal
more like the larvæ of our marine ascidians than any other known form."- Darwin's Descent of Man.
Primordial stomach, in the tadpole found,
Ere Adam made a track upon the ground !
I thought it strange that nothing touched the chord
Of natural feeling when perchance I saw
I loved him better than by nature's law.
Did something queer about that mute freemason
Hint trouble on his own side of the question,
Made odious to us by too much suggestion ?
But this small mollusk, this half-inch ellipse –
One only smiles to think of native man
Left on some rock the future Caliban.
Yet why a mollusk? lower forms are found,
And hold – ascidians older than marine !
A man I am - a vegetable have been.
What is organic life but that, perfected,
Which in a single cell or spore begins ?
Becomes a thing which walks and talks and sins.
Life without brain is found, but stomach never !
A fact we know, that also Plato knew; And life is in the lowest form that ever Breathed through its pores, or made its first endeavor
To drink the rain-drop or distil the dew.
For life in its first element is thirst :
Earth drinks the sky, and the sky drinks the sea; Buds drink the dew, and germs with moisture burst, And the old mosses, arid as at first,
Hang out their stomachs upon rock and tree.
Nay, startling thought, the now ascidian race
Must grow to men by constant evolution, And fish or phyton, sitting in our place, Will hob-a-nob with quite as good a grace
About the world's ten millionth revolution.
Our plasmic form, of equal date, is seen
Down in the rocks through all the ages gray; Dim shadowy bulb ! since in thy tender green My germ I saw, no slimy things obscene
Nor hairy monsters fill me with dismay.
Yea, should they vanish like the “missing links,”
Vanish forever like the faun and satyr,
The infant mammal, at the fount of Nature.
We call them links, they are in fact but kinks ;
The true link is most perfect in each kind Of what it joins, and never blurs or sinks The one kind in the other -- a true sphinx,
Both and yet neither, monster undefined.
And is there such a link ? and is this he,
With hookéd hands and feet and devilish tail,
I tremble at the thought, my spirits fail.
Avaunt, begone! thou fearful ape and brother,
Batrachian, Polyp, any form but thine;
Of distant kin, through that first bulb, to mine.
The onion is not meant, so let that pass,
Though Egypt worshipped it, with Thot and Pthah; Bulbous in form I mean, in substance grass, For such is man, and such Pitheci Vas,
The Ascidian, N. destillatoria.
See here the spheric form, by Nature loved,
See here the centre of the human frame, Through correlation altered, and improved By hairy generations far removed,
Till hardly Science knows it for the same.
Older than zoöphyte must the phyton be ;
“ Nature leaps nothing,” as the ancients phrased it, And Nature errs, Nepenthes, or I see A rudimental abdomen in thee,
Or first rude sketch which in her book prefaced it.
Capacious plant! I seem to see thee now,
Thy “fair round stomach " bibulous of dew —
A moist night often fills, like thine, anew.
Wondrous ascidian, vegetable bottle !
Aught could I venerate, it would be thee; The thirsty ape who held thee by the throttle, Could know no more than I or Aristotle,
He held the father of all apes and me.
See everywhere unconscious imitation
Vase, pitcher, jug – which, sure as man is hay, (And, by reversion, feels a foolish passion For flowers and weeds) were not in their first fashion
Fitted with handles, nor yet made of clay.
Yes, Adam, I suppose, was an exception :
We'll class him, if you like, with fictile pottery;
Had proved that wives are not, alas, “a lottery.".
This tale 'tis now the fashion to gloss over ;
mark the speaking snake and mystic tree! And that old reptile, viewed by a philosopher, Was in some age all grown with fossil moss over,
A bottled imp or loose fish in the sea.