“Let Us Cross Over The River, And Rest Under The Shade Of The Trees”
After being wounded at Chancellorsville, Stonewall Jackson was carried behind the lines to the Wilderness Tavern, where Doctor Hunter H. McGuire removed his injured left arm just two inches below the shoulder. The general was then taken by horse-drawn ambulance a distance of 27 miles to Guinea Station on the R. F. & P. Railroad, where be would rest before continuing on to Richmond. For six days he remained at Guinea, occupying the farm office of Thomas Chandler’s home, “Fairfield.” At first, he showed signs of recovery, but later in the week pneumonia set in and by Sunday, May 10, doctors gave up all hope of his recovery. In the following account, Dr. McGuire recalled the general’s quiet faith and courage in the final hours of his life.
His mind began to fail and wander, and he frequently talked as if in command upon the field, giving orders in his old way; then the scene shifted, and he was at the mess-table, in conversation with members of his staff; now with his wife and child; now at prayers with his military family. Occasional intervals of return of his mind would appear, and during one of them, I offered him some brandy and water, but he declined it, saying, ‘It will only delay my departure, and do no good; I want to preserve my mind, if possible, to the last.’ About half-past one, he was told that he had but two hours to live, and he answered again, feebly, but firmly, 'Very good, it is all right.' A few moments before he died he cried out in his delirium, ‘Order A. P. Hill to prepare for action! pass the infantry to the front rapidly! tell Major Hawks’—then stopped, leaving the sentence unfinished. Presently, a smile of ineffable sweetness spread itself over his pale face, and he said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, ‘Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees;’ and then, without pain, or the least struggle, his spirit passed from earth to the God who gave it.”
From: The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr