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Jim Lewis Stonewall Jackson's servant.

Discussion in 'Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson' started by donna, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    After reading book, "They Called Him Stonewall" by Burke Davis, I wondered what happened to Jackson's servant Jim. I know he was very upset at Stonewall's death and had served him up to that time. Mrs Jackson wrote "it was touching to see the genuine grief of his servant, Jim, who nursed him faithfully to the end".

    I read that Jim Lewis stated with the Army and served Colonel Sandie Pendleton at Gettysburg and after until Pendleton's death at Fisher's Hill in 1864.

    Does any one know what happened to Jim Lewis? Also has any one read the book "Stonewall's Man: Sandie Pendleton" by W. G. Bean.
     

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  3. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    I think this book is supposed to have a chapter dedicated to Jim Lewis. I haven't read it so I don't know how much is included after Jackson's death.

    Stonewall Jackson: The Black Man’s Friend. by Richard T. Williams, Jr.
     
  4. diane

    diane Colonel Forum Host

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    I've been interested in this man, too, and have tried to find out what became of him. The best I can learn is that no one knows for sure but that he may have returned to Lexington after Pendleton's death and died himself. He was extremely devoted to Jackson, who was surprisingly deferential to him, and was with him when he died - he was so heart-broken some were afraid he'd die, too. However, he went on with Sandie Pendleton, with the same devotion, and was equally crushed when Pendleton died. That is pretty much the last record of him.

    Jim Lewis may have been a pupil of Jackson's black Sunday school and seems to have offered his services to Jackson with the permission of his unknown owner. He sure knew the general backwards and forwards! One day he astounded Jackson's staff by having packed all the general's things and saddled Little Sorrel. Shortly, the general ordered a surprise move from camp. The aides asked Lewis how he knew the general planned to move? Lewis replied when the general got down on his knees, he knew he'd better start packing things!
     
  5. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Brigadier General Moderator

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  6. donna

    donna Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    Mr. Wolf Thanks for sites. Were interesting. The etching, "Prayer in Stonewall Jackson's Camp" by Adabert J. Volch is very nice. He was artist and dentist and friend of Jefferson Davis during Civil War. He has some very nice etchings. This one shows Jim Lewis with others at prayer with Jackson.
     
  7. proud texan

    proud texan Sergeant

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    Quote of ol' Jim

    "For whenever de masta's wakeful
    And whenever he prays and groans,
    Why dem dat lies by his camp-fire
    Feel battle in dere bones."

    Johnny Reb and Billy Yank
    Alex Hunter (p.231)
     
  8. redeye-six

    redeye-six Cadet

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    Jim Lewis' Burial Location

    It is generally agreed that Jim Lewis was reburied in the Evergreen Cemetey in Lexington Virginia after the old Colored Cemetery was closed and disbanded. I have personally searched the entire Evergreen Cemetery and have concluded that Jim Lewis still does not have a gravestone.

    Unfortunately, almost nothing is known about Jim Lewis, his family or his dates of birth and death. He does not appear in the Rockbridge Co., Virginia census documents for 186o or 1880.

    Jim Lewis served in the famous Stonewall Brigade as General Jackson's personal manservant and cook. He was a black man (African-American) and a slave at the time. He spent time with General Jackson in his final moments. To show his importance, Lewis was selected to be among those leading the procession of General Jackson's funeral. After the funeral, he continued in service, now to Colonel Pendelton in the Stonewall Brigade.

    In December 1875, an anonymous Confederate veteran wrote to the local paper expressing dismay over the fact that Jim Lewis "...lies in a neglected grave in the Colored Cemetery at Lexington without a stone." In an editorial written by local newspaper editor Doug Harwood, it was reported that, "...when Stonewall Jackson's statue was being erected in 1891, an Englishman offered to pay for a monument to mark the grave of one of his slaves [sic. Jim Lewis]. The town ignored his offer."

    The entire story was told in an article in the Washington Times on September 29, 2007 titled "Black Cemetery Doubt Remains," by Richard G. Williams Jr., a Civil War historian and author. The article may be viewed at the following URL. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2007/sep/29/black-cemetery-doubt-remains/

    The 2003 movie titled "Gods and Generals" included the character of Jim Lewis, who was played by actor Frankie Faison.

    You can find a memorial to Jim Lewis on Findagrave at this site:
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSsr=41&GScid=50176&GRid=66936178&

    Or, you can reach his memorial by going to:
    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi
    and searching for him by his Find A Grave Memorial # 66936178
     
  9. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    It makes a darned good trivia question as well. Can you name all the people in the picture? As a matter of fact, I think I'll post it as a thread. Thanks, M.E.Wolf!
     
  10. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    People refer to Lewis as Jackson's "servant." He was Jackson's slave?
     
  11. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    Yes....and no....apparently he didn't belong to Jackson. I believe it's explained in the article. He's also differentiated as "Manservant" to distinguish his position from just a run-of-the-mill slave. Stupid, I guess, but correct.
     
  12. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    IIRC, there is supposed to be a receipt somewhere showing Jackson rented Lewis as a manservant.
     
  13. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brigadier General Moderator Forum Host

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    That's what the article indicated (and I thought I remembered that was basically the arrangement). I believe the article used the term "sublet".
     
  14. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    Somebody else's slave? Jackson rented Lewis and paid Lewis's owner?
     
  15. diane

    diane Colonel Forum Host

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    Jackson had a kind of odd arrangement with Lewis. As I understand it, Lewis asked his owner to let Jackson rent him. Jackson owned a slave who would have been able to serve the function of manservant but he had already rented him out to someone in Lexington. He had a deal with Arthur, the slave in question, that he would buy him to let him work on his own so that he could buy himself back from Jackson. So it would have violated his agreement with Arthur to take him to war with him. His wife's cook had two teenage boys but they were not suitable for his needs in a camp and he had already rented them to someone as a package - the family wanted to stay together. The only other slaves he had was a young woman and a learning disabled toddler. The little girl was absolutely devoted to Jackson, who worked very hard to teach her in spite of the disability she had - it made her hard to manage. I've often wondered whatever happened to the child.
     

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