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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.” The Encyclopedia Britannica said of Jackson, “That he was the ablest of General Robert E. Lee’s generals is rarely questioned.” Stonewall 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. Jackson 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. At 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