1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

The Mysterious Death of the Legendary Confederate General Stonewall Jackson

Discussion in 'Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson' started by Stiles/Akin, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. Stiles/Akin

    Stiles/Akin First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,096
    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. chucksr

    chucksr Corporal

    Joined:
    May 26, 2017
    Messages:
    408
    "In spite of all this, we may never know exactly what killed this famous Confederate General, who did so much for his side during the American Civil War."

    Of course we do--it's called "friendly fire". No mystery there.
     
    dibbern, mofederal, JohnW. and 2 others like this.
  4. gary

    gary Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    5,117
    It's academic. He died and Lee lost his best subordinate who was very capable of independent command. RIP Fool Tom. Sorry I didn't put a persimmon on your tomb.
     
    mofederal, JohnW. and Stiles/Akin like this.
  5. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    20,324
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    That's what I think killed Jackson - he got shot! Still think they maybe shouldn't have told him he was dying that day. He'd been making a rally and was confident he'd get through it, then he was told he wouldn't. Having a complete and total faith God's will he accepted it and dutifully passed on. Might have anyway - sometimes people rally just before they go.
     
  6. Zack

    Zack Private

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I thought the article was interesting. It was breaking down why the friendly fire incident occurred in the first place (moonlight backlighting) and what specific illness he came down with that caused death. Pneumonia? Sepsis? Pulmonary embolism?

    The comment about not knowing precisely what killed him relates to the disease - the friendly fire incident itself was non-fatal but led to the development of a condition that killed him. Doctors debate precisely what the disease was and why he developed it. Jostling during evacuation from the battlefield? Misdiagnoses?

    Perhaps a given for Civil War buffs but nonetheless interesting.
     
    WJC, Burning Billy, mofederal and 3 others like this.
  7. jackt62

    jackt62 Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,781
    Location:
    New York City
    When I visited the Stonewall Jackson Shrine at Guinea Station, the guide seemed to corroborate one of the theories given in the above mentioned article. Specifically, that the fall from his stretcher as he was being carried away from the field, very likely caused additional internal injury which might have contributed to the cause of death.
     
  8. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    20,324
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    He was dumped twice, and the last one was against a stump - bet that was the one did injury. He was being carried at shoulder level, too - no short tumble, those were drops!
     
  9. Jamieva

    Jamieva 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,557
    Location:
    Midlothian, VA
    So they say there are 3 theories on his cause of death and listed 2. I'm a little confused.
     
  10. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,432
    Location:
    East Texas
    Mistaken Identity
    Why did the North Carolina Regiment fire at Stonewall? Yes, it was dark, but you should be able to tell the difference between gray and dark blue, right? At least Jackson and his officers thought so – they had continued the fighting in the dark, lit by moonlight. So what happened?

    VMI 002.jpg

    Think it *might* have "helped" that he was wearing THIS black raincoat? Claptrap like this article, based as it is on little or no research, is one reason few today have any idea about happenings in the dim (to them) past.
     
  11. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    20,324
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    I've had a problem with the 'moonlight'. It was raining - at least drizzling. That means there were clouds! Sometimes I've thought it would have been a good idea if Jackson had given his people a heads-up, he might be in front of them, but he couldn't. That's what he was doing out there in the first place - where is everybody! If he'd known where they all were, he'd have kept rolling - no need to stop.
     
  12. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Friendly fire isn't.
     
  13. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,883
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Woods take on a whole different personality at night than during the day, especially under combat conditions.
     
  14. Zack

    Zack Private

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Messages:
    174
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Having read more about the shooting, it appears that it was the confusion of fighting in the Wilderness that led to the incident. The 128th Pennsylvania had stumbled into the Confederate line by accident in the dark, slipping past the skirmishers. Hundreds of them were taken prisoner. Combined with the cavalry charge by the 8th Pennsylvania, the message was clear to the Confederates: Union troops could turn up at any time at any point on the line, even well past the skirmishers and behind the lines. Jackson riding in the darkness without having notified the local commanders and regiments of his presence was a fatal error on his part.

    https://emergingcivilwar.com/2015/07/09/the-wounding-of-stonewall-jackson/

    Although the whole thing is open to tremendous debate, even as to the location where it occurred:
    https://emergingcivilwar.com/2013/05/07/the-smoothbore-volley-and-the-calamity-at-chancellorsville/
     
  15. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    20,324
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    There was always a little controversy over how Jackson came to be wounded in both arms - I notice someone mentioned Little Sorrel! He likely rared and wheeled - there goes the general's other arm. Five horses were killed and Little Sorrel took off for the Yankees. They heard the volley and started shooting themselves, which is how A P Hill came to be wounded and unable to command. Weren't there three or four other men who were killed there? Hill would have been one of them if he hadn't hit the dirt and stayed there.
     
    mofederal, James N. and Rebforever like this.
  16. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner
    Featured Book Reviewer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2013
    Messages:
    7,432
    Location:
    East Texas
    At least Jackson's topographical engineer Boswell was killed by the same volley that wounded Jackson.
     
    mofederal and diane like this.
  17. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Messages:
    20,324
    Location:
    State of Jefferson
    Ah, found some of Krick's piece. Between A P Hill's entourage and Stonewall's, there were 19 men passing along the plank road and the woods - only 7 got out alive and unwounded, and 5 were killed. That puts some sober thoughts into what really happened! Nothing like a volley.... Sounds, too, like they were aiming a little high to hit riders - they maybe couldn't see them but they could hear them.
     
    James N. and mofederal like this.
  18. sarladaise

    sarladaise First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,267
    Location:
    Sarlat, France
    Stonewall was allegedly shot by Preston Layman, 10th Virginia, in revenge, because Jackson had Preston's brother shot
    for desertion (see trivia question 4/20/2016)
     
  19. Jamieva

    Jamieva 1st Lieutenant Forum Host

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,557
    Location:
    Midlothian, VA
    Yes the section about identifying the colors is stupifying on several levels. The first thing that comes to mind is this is a unit that is near enemy lines and hears horses coming from teh direction of the enemy. They are not going to wait until they are close enough in the dark to try to see what color their uniform is.
     
  20. mofederal

    mofederal 2nd Lieutenant Member of the Month

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2017
    Messages:
    2,668
    Location:
    Southeast Missouri
    I remember hearing the story about the 8th Penn. Cav. and the 128th PVI. I think the units feared a night attack or incursion by Union Army troops. I think they were scared, and wary. It wasn't a good night to be out for a reconnaissance of enemy lines, it was more than dangerous. It was deadly. Whatever really killed Jackson we will never know, but what we do know about is the how and why, people just plain make mistakes in war.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017 at 2:12 AM
    James N. likes this.
  21. christian soldier

    christian soldier Sergeant

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Messages:
    509
    I don't think there is any mystery surrounding Jackson's death. According to Dr. Hunter McGuire, Jackson's Chief Surgeon, he was shot and developed an infection which resulted in pneumonia and simply crossed over the river and rested under the shade of the trees. John Schildt wrote an excellent biography of Hunter Holmes McGuire. David.
     
    James N. and mofederal like this.

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)