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in our view of the situation, was to fall back upon our infantry supports at Winchester, and I remember hearing various expressions of doubt as to the colonel's sanity when, instead of falling back, he marched his handful of men right up to the advancing lines, and ordered us to dismount. The Federal skirmish line was coming toward us at a double-quick, and we were set going toward it at a like rate of speed, leaving our horses hundreds of yards to the rear. We could see that the skirmishers alone outnumbered us three or four times, and it really seemed that our colonel meant to sacrifice his command deliberately. He waited until the infantry was within about two hundred yards of us, we being in the edge of a little grove, and they on the other side of an open field. Then Stuart cried out, “ Backwards—march! steady, men,-keep your faces to the enemy!"and we marched in that way through the timber, delivering our shot-gun fire slowly as we fell back toward our horses. Then mounting, with the skirmishers almost upon us, we retreated, not hurriedly, but at a slow trot, which the colonel would on no account permit us to change into a gallop. Taking us out into the main road he halted us in column, with our backs to the enemy.
“ Attention !” he cried. “ Now I want to talk to you, men. brave fellows, and patriotic ones too, but you are ignorant of this kind of work, and I am teaching you. I want you to observe that a good man on a good horse can never be caught. Another thing : cavalry can trot away from anything, and a gallop is a gait unbecoming a soldier, unless he is going toward the enemy. Remember that. We gallop toward the enemy, and trot away, always. Steady now ! don't break ranks! »
And as the words left his lips a shell from a battery half a mile to the rear hissed over our heads.
There,” he resumed. “I've been waiting for that, and watching those fellows. I knew they'd shoot too high, and I wanted you to learn how shells sound.”
We spent the next day or two literally within the Federal lines. We were shelled, skirmished with, charged, and surrounded scores of times, until we learned to hold in high regard our colonel's masterly skill in getting into and out of perilous positions. He seemed to blunder into them in sheer recklessness, but in getting out he showed us the quality of his genius; and before we reached Manassas we had learned, among other things, to entertain a feeling closely akin to worship for our brilliant and daring leader. We had begun to understand, too, how much force he meant to give to his favorite dictum that the cavalry is the eye of the army.
His restless activity was one, at least, of the qualities which enabled him to win the reputation he achieved so rapidly. He could never be still. He was rarely ever in camp at all, and he never showed a sign of fatigue. almost everything. Even after he became a general officer, with well-nigh an army of horsemen under his command, I frequently followed him as my leader in a little party of half a dozen troopers, who might as well have gone with a sergeant on the duty assigned them ; and once I was his only follower on a scouting expedition, of which he, a brigadier-general at the time, was the commander. I had been detailed to do some clerical work at his head
quarters, and, having finished the task assigned me, was waiting in the piazza of the house he occupied, for somebody to give me further orders, when Stuart came out.
“Is that your horse ?” he asked, going up to the animal and examining him minutely.
I replied that he was, and upon being questioned further informed him that I did not wish to sell my steed. Turning to me suddenly, he said:
“Let's slip off on a scout, then ; l'll ride your horse and you can ride mine. I want to try your beast's paces"; and mounting, we galloped away. Where or how far he intended to go I did not know. He was enamoured of my horse, and rode, I suppose, for the pleasure of riding an animal which pleased him. We passed outside our picket line, and then, keeping in the woods, •rode within that of the Union army. Wandering about in a purposeless way, we got a near view of some of the Federal camps, and finally finding ourselves objects of attention on the part of some well-mounted cavalry in blue uniforms, we rode rapidly down a road toward our own lines, our pursuers riding quite as rapidly immediately behind us.
“General,” I cried presently, “there is a Federal picket post on the road just ahead of us. Had we not better oblique into the woods ?”
“ Oh no. They won't expect us from this direction, and we can ride over them before they make up their minds who we are.”
Three minutes later we rode at full speed through the corporal's guard on picket, and were a hundred yards or more away before they could level a gun at us. Then half a dozen bullets whistled about our ears, but the cavalier paid no attention to them.
“Did you ever time this horse for a half-mile ? ” was all he had to say.
It was on the day of my ride with him that I heard him express his views of the war and his singular aspiration for himself. It was almost immediately after General McClellan assumed command of the army of the Potomac, and while we were rather eagerly expecting him to attack our strongly fortified position at Centreville. Stuart was talking with some members of his staff, with whom he had been wrestling a minute before. He said something about what they could do by way of amusement when they should go into winter-quarters.
“ That is to say,” he continued, “if George B. McClellan ever allows us to go into winter-quarters at all."
“Why, general ? Do you think he will advance before spring ? "asked one of the officers.
“Not against Centreville," replied the general. “He has too much sense for that, and I think he knows the shortest road to Richmond, too. If I am not greatly mistaken, we shall hear of him presently on his way up the James River.”
In this prediction, as the reader knows, he was right. The conversation then passed to the question of results.
"I regard it as a foregone conclusion,” said Stuart, “ that we shall ultimately whip the Yankees. We are bound to believe that, anyhow; but the
war is going to be a long and terrible one, first. We've only just begun it, and very few of us will see the end. All I ask of fate is that I may be killed leading a cavalry charge."
The remark was not a boastful or seemingly insincere one. It was made quietly, cheerfully, almost eagerly, and it impressed me at the time with the feeling that the man's idea of happiness was what the French call glory, and that in his eyes there was no glory like that of dying in one of the tremendous onsets which he knew so well how to make. His wish was granted, as we know. He received his death-wound at the head of his troop
General Stuart was, without doubt, capable of handling an infantry command successfully, as he demonstrated at Chancellorsville, where he took Stonewall Jackson's place and led an army corps in a very severe engagement; but his special fitness was for cavalry service. His tastes were those of a horseman. Perpetual activity was a necessity of his existence, and he enjoyed nothing so much as danger. Audacity, his greatest virtue as a cavalry commander, would have been his besetting sin in any other position. Inasmuch as it is the business of the cavalry to live as constantly as possible within gunshot of the enemy, his recklessness stood him in excellent stead as a general of horse, but it is at least questionable whether his want of caution would not have led to disaster if his command had been of a less mobile sort. His critics say he was vain, and he was so, as a boy is. He liked to win the applause of his friends, and he liked still better to astonish the enemy, glorying in the thought that his foemen must admire his “impudence," as he called it, while they dreaded its manifestation. He was continually doing things of an extravagantly audacious sort, with no other purpose, seemingly, than that of making people stretch their eyes in wonder. He enjoyed the admiration of the enemy far more, I think, than he did that of his friends. This fact was evident in the care he took to make himself a conspicuous personage in every time of danger. He would ride at some distance from his men in a skirmish, and in every possible way attract a dangerous attention to himself. His slouch hat and long plume marked him in every battle, and made him a target for the riflemen to shoot at. In all this there was some vanity, if we choose to call it so, but it was an excellent sort of vanity for a cavalry chief to cultivate. I cannot learn that he ever boasted of any achievement, or that his vanity was ever satisfied with the things already done. His audacity was due, I think, to his sense of humor, not less than to his love of applause. He would laugh uproariously over the astonishment he imagined the Federal officers must feel after one of his peculiarly daring or sublimely impudent performances. When, after capturing a large number of horses and mules on one of his raids, he seized a telegraph station and sent a despatch to General Meigs, then Quartermaster-General of the United States army, complaining that he could not afford to come after animals of so poor a quality, and urging that officer to provide better ones for capture in future, he enjoyed the joke quite as heartily as he did the success which made it possible.
The boyishness to which I have referred ran through every part of his character and every act of his life. His impetuosity in action, his love of military glory and of the military life, his occasional waywardness with his friends and his generous affection for them,-all these were the traits of a great boy, full, to running over, of impulsive animal life.
While I was serving in South Carolina, I met one evening the general commanding the military district, and he, upon learning that I had served with Stuart, spent the entire evening talking of his friend, for they two had been together in the old army before the war.
During the evening's conversation this general formulated his opinion of Stuart's military character in very striking phrase.
“ He is,” he said, the greatest cavalry officer that ever lived. He has all the dash, daring, and audacity of Murat, and a great deal more sense.' It was his opinion, however, that there were men in both armies who would come to be known as greater cavalrymen than Stuart, for the reason that Stuart used his men strictly as cavalry, while others would make dragoons of them. He believed that the nature of our country was much better adapted to dragoon than to cavalry service, and hence, while he thought Stuart the best of cavalry officers, he doubted his ability to stand against such men as General Sheridan, whose conception of the proper place of the horse in our war was a more correct one, he thought, than Stuart's. “To the popular mind,” he went on to say, “every soldier who rides a horse is a cavalryman, and so Stuart will be measured by an incorrect standard. He will be classed with General Sheridan and measured by his success or the want of it. General Sheridan is without doubt the greatest of dragoon commanders, as Stuart is the greatest of cavalrymen; but in this country dragoons are worth a good deal more than cavalry, and so General Sheridan will probably win the greater reputation. He will deserve it, too, because behind it is the sound judgment which tells him what use to make of his horsemen."
It is worthy of remark that all this was said before General Sheridan had made his reputation as an officer, and I remember that at the time his name was almost new to me.
Till on through measures deft and fleet
She caught the ditty of her choice.
A song of love, in words of fire,
Now made her breast with passion stir;
And thrilled the waiting chords in her.
One moment poised the tones on high,
And swell the pæan ere it die.
She smote the keys with will and force,
Like storm-winds swept the sounds along;
Vied with the tumult of her song.
Her eyes flashed with the burning theme;
A glow of triumph flushed her cheek;
Of love her lips would never speak.
When the wild cadence died in air,
And all the chords to silence fell,
The secret that had wrought the spell.
Born in Philadelphia, Penn., 1839.
PROPERTY IN LAND IN THE UNITED STATES.
[Progress and Poverty. 1879.- Revised Edition. 1880.]
HE republic has entered upon a new era, an era in which the monopoly
of the land will tell with accelerating effect. The great fact which has been so potent is ceasing to be. The public domain is almost gone—a very few years will end its influence, already rapidly failing. I do not mean to say that there will be no public domain. For a long time to come there will be millions of acres of public lands carried on the books of the Land Department. But it must be remembered that the best part of the continent for agricultural purposes is already overrun, and that it is the poorest land that is left. It must be remembered that what remains comprises the great mountain ranges, the sterile deserts, the high plains fit only for grazing. And it must be remembered that much of this land which figures in the reports as open to settlement is unsurveyed land, which has been appropriated by possessory claims or locations which do not appear until the land is returned as survey