Kenneth C. Davis On The Eccentricities Of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
Daring, calm, and tactically brilliant on the battlefield, he was also a hypochondriac, very concerned about his digestive system and his diet. Among his idiosyncrasies was a refusal to eat pepper because he thought it made his left leg hurt. A tall, rigid man, he never let his back touch a chair, always sitting bolt upright to keep his internal organs in “alignment.” Aides said they often saw him raise his right arm and hold it aloft for many minutes. He never explained whether he did so to engage in silent prayer or to cause blood to flow downward and “establish equilibrium,” which he considered essnetial to good health. Stern and silent, with little sense of humor, Jackson didn’t drink, smoke, dance, curse, play cards, or attend the theater. Instead, he strolled around camp handing out Sunday school leaflets. He refused to write a letter that would be in transit on Sunday, and he habitually sucked lemons, spoke in a voice “so shrill it seemed feminine,” and napped before battle. He also believed that Yankees were devils.
From the diary of Theodore Upson, a sixteen-year-old Indiana farm-boy, who enlisted and later fought under Grant and Sherman (April 1861).
Father and I were husking out some corn. We could not finish before it wintered up. When William Cory came across the field he was excited and said, “Jonathan they have fired upon and taken Fort Sumter.” Father got white and couldn’t say a word.
William said, “The President will soon fix them. He has called for 75,000 men and is going to blockade their ports, and just as soon as those fellows find out that the North means business they will get down off their high horse.”
Father said little. We did not finish the corn and drove to the barn. Father left me to unload and put out the team and went to the house. After I had finished I went in to dinner. Mother said, “What is the matter with Father?” He had gone right upstairs. I told her what we had heard. She went to him. After a while they came down. Father looked ten years older. We sat down at the table. Grandma wanted to know what was the trouble. Father told her and she began to cry. “Oh my poor children in the South. Now they will suffer! God knows how they will suffer! I knew it would come. Jonathan I told you it would come!”
"They can come here and stay," said Father.
"No they will not do that. There is their home. There they will stay. Oh to think that I should have lived to see the day when Brother should rise against Brother."
She and Mother were crying. I lit out for the barn. Oh I do hate to see women cry.
We had another meeting at the schoolhouse last night; we are raising money to take care of the families of those who enlist. A good many gave money, others subscribed. The Hulper boys have enlisted and Steve Lampman and some others. I said I would go but they laughed at me and said they wanted men not boys for this job; that it would all be over soon; that those fellows down South are big bluffers and would rather talk than fight. I am not so sure about that.