Re: Cobbler reference. Could you be thinking of:
"The greatest military genius our world has ever produced was a brick-layer
from somewhere back of Boston--died during the Revolution--by the name of
Absalom Jones." [EXTRACT FROM CAPTAIN STORMFIELD'S VISIT TO HEAVEN, Harper
and Brothers, 1909; pg. 112].
Jones was rejected for military service because he lost both thumbs and
some teeth. Although he never got a chance to prove his military genius in
life, he is celebrated in heaven for what he *would* have been. Caesar,
Hannibal, Alexander and Napoleon and other great generals serve on his
staff but get little attention when Jones is around.