In the first quarter of the century, on the hills which stand above the Ohio River, but in different States of the Union, were born two children, destined, to all appearance, to lives of narrow interests and thankless toil. They were the sons of poor parents, without influence or expectations; their native villages, deep in the solitudes of the West, and remote from the promise and possibilities of great cities, offered no road to fortune. In the days before the railway, escape from the wilderness, except for those with long purses, was very difficult; and for those who remained, if their means were small, the farm and the store were the only occupations. But a farmer without capital was little better than a hired hand; trade was confined to the petty dealings of a country market; and although thrift and energy, even under such depressing conditions, might eventually win a competence, the most ardent ambition could hardly hope for more. Never was an obscure existence more irretrievably marked out than for these children of the Ohio; and yet, before either had grown grey, the names of Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and of Stonewall Jackson, Lieutenant-General in the Confederate Army, were household words in both America and Europe. Descendants of the pioneers, those hardy borderers, half soldiers and half farmers, who held and reclaimed, through long years of Indian warfare, the valleys and prairies of the West, they inherited the best attributes of a frank and valiant race. Simple yet wise, strong yet gentle, they were gifted with all the qualities which make leaders of men. Actuated by the highest principles, they both ennobled the cause for which they fought; and while the opposition of such kindred natures adds to the dramatic interest of the Civil War, the career of the great soldier, although a theme perhaps less generally attractive, may be followed as profitably as that of the great statesmen. Providence dealt with them very differently. The one was struck down by a mortal wound before his task was well begun; his life, to all human seeming, was given in vain, and his name will ever be associated with the mournful memories of a lost cause and a vanished army. The other, ere he fell beneath the assassin’s stroke, had seen the abundant fruits of his mighty labours; his sun set in a cloudless sky. And yet the resemblance between them is very close. Both dared Jackson, in one respect, was more fortunate than Lincoln. Although born to poverty, he came of a Virginia family which was neither unknown nor undistinguished, and as showing the influences which went to form his character, its history and traditions may be briefly related.