“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.
“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”
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
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.