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To his dismay, the men refused to cooperate. One of the noncommissioned officers then reported what was going on to French, who promptly placed Jackson under arrest. On April 13 Jackson responded by going over French’s head to request release from arrest. He also advised their superiors that he had (as a matter of duty, of course) investigated whether French had been “ guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer and gentlemen ” and felt compelled to call for a formal Court of Inquiry to further pursue the matter.
Munford found Jackson as good as his word. Each morning Jackson rose early and plunged into his new duties, leaving his lodging at the Lexington Hotel before sunrise and rarely returning until after night had fallen. He quickly impressed the cadets and his new associates with his emphasis on discipline and found he had a hard time containing his delight at the new assignment. ” In September, when the entire corps of cadets was once again on post, the new barracks were still not finished. Thus, Jackson received directions from the superintendent to lead the cadets on a practice march.
After advancing a halfmile along the causeway, Jackson’s, Hill’s, and Bee’s men caught sight of 1,500 Mexican cavalry charging toward them. Disaster was adverted when Jackson brought up his guns and opened a blistering fire on the tightly bunched Mexicans. Soon the Mexicans were in full retreat with Jackson, pushing his luck to the extreme, giving chase. “ Whenever they got a little too far, we limbered up and pursued at full gallop until the bullets of their rear guns began to fall near the leaders,” he later 24 STONEWALL JACKSON recalled, “ then we would unlimber and pour it into them—then limber up again and pursue.