|Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
That He was the Ablest of General Lee’s
Generals is Rarely Questioned.
Few Confederate generals are held in such high
esteem as Thomas Jonathan Jackson. By his
resolute stand at the first Battle of Bull Run
(Manassas) in repulsing Union forces, he earned
the nickname “Stonewall.”
Encyclopedia Britannica said of Jackson,
“That he was the ablest of General Robert E.
Lee’s generals is rarely questioned.”
Jackson was born at Clarksburg, Virginia (now
West Virginia), on January 21, 1824. His great
grandparents, the John Jacksons, were Scots
Presbyterian emigrants to Maryland in 1748.
■ His father
died when Thomas was 3. His mother died when he
was 6, and he was brought up in the homes of
relatives. He was graduated from the West Point
Military Academy and was soon in action in the
Mexican War as an artillery lieutenant. He was
cited for valor at the Battle of Chapultepec.
was deeply religious with a strong Calvinistic
sense of duty, moral righteousness, and great
devotion to the cause in which he was engaged.
In the first Battle of Bull Run, Jackson was
promoted to general and stood firm in the face
of overwhelming odds, General Lee cried out,
“Look at Jackson, he stands like a stone wall.”
He worked closely with General Lee and showed
great promise as a military tactician.
Chancellorsville, he routed General Hooker’s
forces, but the federals quickly wheeled around
and returned to do battle. General Jackson was
wounded in the crossfire.
■ He died a
few days later at Guiney's Station, Virginia,
May 10, 1863. He was honored by the South as one
of her greatest heroes and elected to the Hall
of Fame of Great Americans in 1900. One of the
most impressive Southern tributes to her three
greatest heroes is a monument to Jefferson
David, Robert E. Lee, and Jackson.
Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546