Lee and Jacksons last words

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

oldreb1343

Retired User
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
370
Location
duncan,nc
I have notice a bond between Lee and Jackson that gose farther than when they were in the field together. As we all know Jackson was Lees right hand man, even viewed him as a son when he gave him orders. But reading through the life of lee, during his last hours his last words were "Tell Hill he must come up" and then Jakcsons last words were "Oreder A.P. Hill for action" anyone else notice the connection there. To fire up the conversation stead of seeing the connection lets ask more of why was Hill so attached to them.
 

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
Gee oldreb I had always read that Jackson's alledged last words were... " Let us cross over the river and rest in the shade of the trees". Now it must be said that in the 19th century folks were fond of wishing to hear what a famous person's last words were, thus I would take the "last words" thing with some skepticism. Often these last words were just made up to give the newspapers good copy to print. That said, it is fascinating that the dying Lee is described as calling for Hill. If true it definatly shows what an impact Hill's arrival in the nick of time at Antietam made on Lee. If true, and I like to wish it is, Lee was re-fighting perhaps his most desperate battle in his dying hours and re-living it...and desperatly looking for Hill to arrive...which he did. Touching. Good thread.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

dvrmte

Major
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
9,887
Location
South Carolina
There's doubt that Lee could even speak in his last moments. Hill was a gallant and aggressive fighter but was sometimes lax in his defensive placement of his troops.(Fredericksburg, Second Manassas) He could be counted on for aggressive attacks, at least prior to Stonewall Jackson's death. From Gettysburg on, his performance was inconsistent.

So if the mention of Hill in their last words is true, the leaders were going back to the days of glory prior to Gettysburg.

dvrmte
 

oldreb1343

Retired User
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
370
Location
duncan,nc
There's doubt that Lee could even speak in his last moments. Hill was a gallant and aggressive fighter but was sometimes lax in his defensive placement of his troops.(Fredericksburg, Second Manassas) He could be counted on for aggressive attacks, at least prior to Stonewall Jackson's death. From Gettysburg on, his performance was inconsistent.

So if the mention of Hill in their last words is true, the leaders were going back to the days of glory prior to Gettysburg.

dvrmte

that is true but I was making the statement if he did
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
20,565
Location
State of Jefferson
That is so. Some forensic historians had neurologists go over Lee's final illness and the neurologists, both of whom were top experts in stroke, concluded that the type of stroke Lee had made it unlikely he said anything after it occurred. It appeared to have destroyed the 'will' center of his brain, meaning he could not initiate anything but could respond. For example, his wife Mary said she believed her husband died the moment he had the stroke because he was no longer with his body. She would squeeze his hand and he would respond with a squeeze, but he did not initiate it. Automatic.

The final words are related by Rob, Lee's youngest son, in his biography of his father. Rob was not present when his father died and was told these last words by a relation, unknown but possibly Custis. It's not to say this relation was mistaken but that perhaps Lee made sufficient speechlike sounds that they 'heard' last words. As Doug McKay mentions, people of the 19th century set great store by last words. It was commonly believed they summed up that person's life. "Strike the tent" and calling for Hill was heroic. In fact, Lee's last words may have been quite unheroic. He was attending a meeting of the churchmen of the church he attended, who were in need of a bit of money for something. The meeting dragged out and Lee, impatient to get home to supper, settled the issue by saying, "I will give that sum." Those may have been his last words. In a way, maybe those are better last words. Lee certainly gave a great sum in the CW.

Jackson's last words and his calling for A P Hill are undisputed and quite natural. He had just been fighting a battle and was reliving it in his delirium. I'm just not sure Lee would be reliving the same battle seven years later. However, both died of pneumonia.
 

oldreb1343

Retired User
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
370
Location
duncan,nc
It is interesting to see how God calls people up to him and how it is done and how other who knew each other go with similarities
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

judi

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 15, 2010
Messages
596
Location
East Earl PA
I was always facinated by the 2 of them calling Hill. Jackson called for Hill just before he said let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the tree. Have no idea if Lee could have spoken but every time I read about his death it is in there that he called for Hill.
It is just another of the curious things that make us love the cw and its soldiers so much.
 

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
I was always facinated by the 2 of them calling Hill. Jackson called for Hill just before he said let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the tree. Have no idea if Lee could have spoken but every time I read about his death it is in there that he called for Hill.
It is just another of the curious things that make us love the cw and its soldiers so much.
Well said. Truth must and should reign over all but we also need, love, and cling to out legends. It is human and does serve an emotional need.

"When the truth is in conflict with the legend print the legend". Old newspaperman's saying.
 

Ragnarok

Cadet
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
66
After practicing medicine for almost forty years, it is not uncommon for a person to have had a stroke, and loose their "speech center" only to speak out on their death bed. Thus it is indeed plausible for Lee to have spoken before he passed over. With Jackson, his wish was to "die on the Sabbath" and when he was told that he would pass before the day's end he replied "It is good that it is so." When they dropped Jackson from the liter that he was on after he was shot, he actually fell on to his right side and on to a tree stump/root and the thoughts were that he injured his liver. The amputation was a success, but, with the injured liver came peritonitis and pneumonia. He was no doubt conscious until the very end, and slipped into a confused state but could still articulate. A.P. Hill was a fascinating character, who appeared at Sharpsburg to assist Jackson on the field, then to help Lee retreat. Again at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg he played major roles which Lee and Jackson would have related to and appreciated. Perhaps, in the end, whatever words were penned into the legends helped folks heal and move on. As such, no harm done, and they are mere testimony to the love and respect held for both men.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
After practicing medicine for almost forty years, it is not uncommon for a person to have had a stroke, and loose their "speech center" only to speak out on their death bed. Thus it is indeed plausible for Lee to have spoken before he passed over. With Jackson, his wish was to "die on the Sabbath" and when he was told that he would pass before the day's end he replied "It is good that it is so." When they dropped Jackson from the liter that he was on after he was shot, he actually fell on to his right side and on to a tree stump/root and the thoughts were that he injured his liver. The amputation was a success, but, with the injured liver came peritonitis and pneumonia. He was no doubt conscious until the very end, and slipped into a confused state but could still articulate. A.P. Hill was a fascinating character, who appeared at Sharpsburg to assist Jackson on the field, then to help Lee retreat. Again at Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg he played major roles which Lee and Jackson would have related to and appreciated. Perhaps, in the end, whatever words were penned into the legends helped folks heal and move on. As such, no harm done, and they are mere testimony to the love and respect held for both men.
Good input. Interesting. Never knew about the liver damage. First I ever heard of it.

Now Doc when I do this (raise my left arm above my head) it hurts. Your suggestion?
 

Ragnarok

Cadet
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
66
Good input. Interesting. Never knew about the liver damage. First I ever heard of it.

Now Doc when I do this (raise my left arm above my head) it hurts. Your suggestion?
That's easy to answer....you don't have a beer in your hand which would get you to stop by your mouth and thus prevent the pain!! LOL

Yes, there is support for the lacerated liver, which, would have meant that Jackson would have had to "splint" his abdomen while breathing or coughing. If he didn't get in deep breaths to clear the lungs, and being on bed rest would have increased his chances for pneumonia. Two of his staff were shot to death carrying him on the liter, thus Jackson was dropped to the ground, and, hit the tree stump. Jackson was not an overweight guy. At six foot tall, he only weighed in at about 170, thus not much padding in that abdominal area. Most of his pictures show him to be a rather gaunt looking man. Lee, while about the same height, was more robust, barrel chested. The thoughts of his having a bout of "bacterial endocarditis" which put him on bed rest several times during the war, is a disease that affects the pericardial lining of the heart. Lee complained about pain in his back which radiated to his chest wall, symptoms which support the b.e. Antibiotics treat it now, but, it can lead to kidney failure, congested heart failure and stroke. Which as we know, was Lee's last battle.

Now, let me get my gloves on, and, get you to bend over and cough! LOL LOL LOL
 

Dugger

Banned
Joined
Mar 27, 2011
Messages
2,372
Location
Southern Ohio
That's easy to answer....you don't have a beer in your hand which would get you to stop by your mouth and Now, let me get my gloves on, and, get you to bend over and cough! LOL LOL LOL


Ah gee Doc....you just trying to get me turned on arn't ya? :veryhappy
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Messages
20,565
Location
State of Jefferson
That's a lot of good information! Thanks so much. Maybe Custis (or whoever) heard right then. (Sure would hate to have to re-chisle all those monuments!) Remembering now Bach's stroke - he went completely deaf, devastating for a musician, but one day his hearing miraculously returned. He was thrilled, began writing music at a feverish pace, and a couple days later fell out dead. Very strange!

It brings some questions to mind, though. I had read of a theory about Jackson's death, that there was bacteria in his gut from bad drinking water in his hometown, just something that was there all his life. He always had a host of ailments - some not too real but quite a few real enough - might have had something to do with the water. (Here we always had a spring outbreak of stomach problems because of bad water - called it skeeters.) All the trauma and stress kicked this bacteria into high gear. As you say, there may have been internal injuries - he didn't just roll off the stretcher when they dropped him. They were carrying him on their shoulders, so when the stretcher-bearers went down he had a ways to fall! (One of the stretcher-bearers was a 19-year-old kid who lost both arms. He lived into his 80s.)

I also wondered something else. I've sometimes wondered if they should have told him he would die. He was full of fight and believed he could get well - although he may have said that to comfort his wife - but after they told him he was dying he accepted it. That was the way he believed - if it was God's will, then it was God's will.

A P Hill was indeed a kind of special general! He would have shot Jackson in a duel but when Jackson was wounded Hill cradled his head in his lap, stopped the bleeding with a tourniquet and talked to him until the medics arrived. When Lee was holed up in Petersburg, Hill became a close friend. Hill's newborn girl was named Lucy Lee and Lee was her godfather. Lee and Hill often talked together about all sorts of things. Hill may have had a redhot temper and a thin skin, but he also had a lot of compassion and kindness, too. If these two men remembered him at the last, I can see why.
 

BillO

Captain
Joined
Feb 2, 2010
Messages
6,403
Location
Quinton, VA.
I like this theory much better than the one I've held for awhile. I had assumed that both of them had been in the habit of telling Hill to hurry up for so long it was just reflex.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,394
Location
Near Kankakee
It isn't so much that Ambrose Powell was slow, it's just that, when you needed help, Hill was the one called for.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top