General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson Birthday

“Stonewall” Jackson was born January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). He is one of the best known Confederate Generals after General Lee.

Jackson earned his nickname at First Manassas as the Confederate lines began to crumble under heavy Union assault, Jackson’s brigade provided crucial reinforcements on Henry House Hill, demonstrating the discipline he instilled in his men. Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!”

At the battle of Chancellorsville, Jackson was severely wounded in the arm by friendly fire when he and his aides were mistaken for union cavalry in the dark. Eight days later, Jackson died of pneumonia. According to his doctor:

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.”

Jackson in death became an icon of Southern heroism and commitment, joining Lee in the pantheon of Confederate heroes.

Stonewall_Jackson_Young_Man_small

 

“Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me.” He added, after a pause, looking me full in the face: “That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave”

 

“You may be whatever you resolve to be”

stonewall2

 

In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day’s service, I remembered that I failed to send a contribution for our colored Sunday school. Enclosed you will find a check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest convenience and oblige yours faithfully. (A letter to his pastor)

Our God was my shield. His protecting care is an additional cause for gratitude

stonewall3

 

I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go.

 

Never take counsel of your fears.

 

The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.

stonewall4

 

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson Birthday

  1. A wee bit late but I just noticed this post Roger. I am a huge fan of General Jackson. Of the many books I have about Stonewall and his campaigns is my favorite written by his wife, Mrs. Mary Anna Jackson….”Life and Letters of General Thomas J. Jackson”. It gives great insight on a personal level into the man as well as the General.

    He was indisputably the best field commander in the Confederacy and probably of either side during the entire war. His campaigns in the Shenandoah Valley in particular were brilliant in their concept and execution. Years later the battlefields he fought on and the tactics he employed were visited and studied in the 1930’s by the likes of men like George Patton and Heinz Guderion both proponents and pioneers of lightning fast armored attacks. No doubt these 20th century warriors were influenced to a large degree by the one and only “Stonewall”.

    • Too bad he was killed the way he was, seems unfitting.

      That generation was a gold mine for military commanders: Jackson, Lee, Mosby, Forrest; I’m sure there were a few good ones on the Union side as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s