May 10th, 1863 - General Thomas J. ( Stonewall ) Jackson dies

frontrank2

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The South loses one of its boldest and most colorful generals on this day, when 39-year-old Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson dies of pneumonia a week after his own troops accidentally fired on him during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. In the first two years of the war, Jackson terrorized Union commanders and led his army corps on bold and daring marches. He was the perfect complement to Robert E. Lee.

A native Virginian, Jackson grew up in poverty in Clarksburg, in the mountains of what is now West Virginia. Orphaned at an early age, Jackson was raised by relatives and became a shy, lonely young man. He had only a rudimentary education but secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after another young man from the same congressional district turned down his appointment. Despite poor preparation, Jackson worked hard and graduated 17th in a class of 59 cadets.

Jackson went on to serve as an artillery officer during the Mexican War (1846-48), seeing action at Vera Cruz and Chapultepec. He earned three brevets for bravery in just six months and left the service in 1850 to teach at Virginia Military Institute (VMI). He was known as a difficult and eccentric classroom instructor, prone to strange and impromptu gestures in class. He was also a devout Presbyterian who refused to even talk of secular matters on the Sabbath. In 1859, Jackson led a group of VMI cadets to serve as gallows guards for the hanging of abolitionist John Brown.

When war broke out in 1861, Jackson became a brigadier general in command of five regiments raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. At the Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, Jackson earned distinction by leading the attack that secured an advantage for the Confederates. Confederate General Barnard Bee, trying to inspire his troops, exclaimed “there stands Jackson like a stone wall,” and provided one of the most enduring monikers in history.

By 1862, Jackson was recognized as one of the most effective commanders in the Confederate army. Leading his force on one of the most brilliant campaigns in military history during the summer of 1862, Jackson marched around the Shenandoah Valley and held off three Union armies while providing relief for Confederates pinned down on the James Peninsula by George McClellan’s army. He later rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia for the Seven Days battles, and his leadership was stellar at Second Bull Run in August 1862. He soon became Lee’s most trusted corps commander.

The Battle of Chancellorsville was Lee’s and Jackson’s shining moment. Despite the fact that they faced an army twice the size of theirs, Lee daringly split his force and sent Jackson around the Union flank—a move that resulted in perhaps the Army of the Potomac’s most stunning defeat of the war. When nightfall halted the attack, Jackson rode forward to reconnoiter the territory for another assault. But as he and his aides rode back to the lines, a group of Rebels opened fire. Jackson was hit three times, and a Southern bullet shattered his left arm, which had to be amputated the next day. Soon, pneumonia set in, and Jackson began to fade. He died, as he had wished, on the Sabbath, May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”
http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/thomas-j-stonewall-jackson-dies

SOV_CivilWar_StonewallJackson.1946.41.jpg
 

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Bruce Vail

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About 15 years ago, I met a men named David Jonathan Sawyer at a book fair. He was selling copies of his book "My Great-Grandfather was Stonewall Jackson."

According to family lore, Jackson sired a son with a slave girl in the time between Jackson's two legal marriages. Sawyer was the great grandson.
 

frontrank2

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A true hero. The Union army owes its victory at Gettysburg ... and perhaps the war ... to the Confederate soldier that shot him.
That's one of the all time great " what if " questions. What if Jackson wasn't killed and he was present at Gettysburg? My other is " What if Lincoln hadn't gone to Ford's Theater?"
 

PeterT

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What if Lincoln hadn't gone to Ford's Theater
or "what if Grant had gone to the theater?"

What if Jackson wasn't killed and he was present at Gettysburg?
Could Jackson have convinced Lee to do the flanking movement to the south? Anyway, no more what ifs. Rest in peace.
 

jackt62

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You don't know what would've happened if he was there. What happened is what happened.
There has been quite a lot of speculation about the outcome of the battle at Gettysburg had Jackson been present. Without opining on that particular subject, I nevertheless believe that the major problem that doomed the ANV in that battle was the lack of reliable intelligence about the whereabouts of the federal army and knowledge of the terrain in the immediate vicinity of the town. This of course, was a major responsibility of JEB Stuart and the cavalry.
 

Cavalry Charger

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"His mind now began to fail and wander, and he frequently talked as if in command upon the field, giving orders in his old way; then the scene shifted and he was at the mess-table, in conversation with members of his staff; now with his wife and child; now at prayers with his military family. Occasional intervals of return of his mind would appear, and during one of them I offered him some brandy and water, but he declined it saying, 'it will only delay my departure, and do no good; I want to preserve my mind, if possible, to the last...' 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 cried quietly and with an expression as if of relief, 'Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees'; and then, without pain, or the least struggle, his spirit passed from earth to the God who gave it." Dr. Hunter McGuire, Medical Director of Jackson's Corps, from the Southern Historical Society Papers, Richmond, 1886.
 

John S. Carter

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That's one of the all time great " what if " questions. What if Jackson wasn't killed and he was present at Gettysburg? My other is " What if Lincoln hadn't gone to Ford's Theater?"
What if Grant had been at Gettysburg,and Meade had been in the West?Would Grant had attacked LEE on that second day ,would he attacked him on the 3rd ,using his reserves?Imagin , Lee,Longstreet,Jackson,and Stuwart verses Grant,Sherman,Thomas,and Sheridian !
 



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