Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824 – May 10, 1863) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and probably the most revered Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. His military career includes such famous exploits as the audacious Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Peninsula Campaigns, and the Second Battle of Bull Run (all in 1862) and as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets, mistaking him for the enemy, shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. Jackson survived, albeit with the loss of an arm to amputation. However, he died of complications of pneumonia eight days later.
The nickname "Stonewall" comes from an incident at First Bull Run. Jackson's standing firm in the face of battle allegedly prompted another brigade commander to shout "Look! There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall! Let us determine to die here today and we will conquer! Rally around the Virginians!" The exact wording is unknown.
Thomas Jackson in Southern Victory
Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson was one of the Confederacy's most gifted generals during the early part of its history. He served in the War of Secession and then as General-in-Chief during the Second Mexican War.
Jackson, a brigade commander in the Army of Northern Virginia, took part in the final campaign of the War of Secession, helping to destroy the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Camp Hill, in the fall of 1862, then advancing on Philadelphia, ensuring the Confederate victory.
After the war, Jackson became General-in-Chief of the Confederate Army. During the Second Mexican War, he personally commanded field armies: first a small army which beat back a small US invasion from West Virginia, then the Army of Kentucky in its defense of Louisville, the war's primary front. He easily defeated Orlando Willcox' badly planned and executed offensives, receiving Wilcox' formal surrender in the spring of 1882.
While Jackson was initially opposed to President James Longstreet's plan for the end of slavery after the war, he grew to see Longstreet's logic, and supported the decision. Thus, when Wade Hampton III approached Jackson about possibly launching a coup to overthrow Longstreet, Jackson harshly rebuked Hampton.
Jackson was married twice in his life. He married his second wife, Mary, a few years after the death of his first wife, and a few years before the War of Secession. While Jackson would never have considered a tryst with another woman, he acknowledged that his love for the heat of battle competed with his love for his wife.
Jackson's used heavy entrenchments at Louisville, proving the effectiveness of the tactic and leading to its extensive use by all sides in the Great War thirty years later.
After his death, Jackson's likeness was minted onto Confederate five-dollar gold coins, which colloquially came to be known as "Stonewalls".
- References to Historical Figures in Turtledove's Work, for minor references to Jackson in Turtledove's work.
- Thomas the Brick Wall, an analog of Jackson in The War Between the Provinces.
- American Front, pgs. 3-4, HC.
|General-in-chief of the Confederate States Army
Before 1881 - after 1882
Next known commander is
Nathan Bedford Forrest III
as Chief of General Staff