Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, died May 10, 1863
|Jackson's "Chancellorsville" Portrait,|
taken at a Spotsylvania County farm on April 26, 1863,
seven days before he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville
"My religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. ... That is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave."
|Virginia Military Institute (VMI), in Lexington, Virginia|
|Elinor "Ellie" Junkin|
|Eleanor Jackson's Obituary|
|Elinor Jackson's Grave|
|Mary Anna Morrison Jackson|
|Jackson House in Lexington|
Jackson and the VMI corps of cadets served as gallows guard at the December 1859, hanging of John Brown for murder and treason. War clouds thickened in the months thereafter. Jackson remained calm. The dissolution of the Union, he told a minister, “can come only by God’s permission, and will only be permitted if for His people’s good.”
|First Manassas/Bull Run|
|Barnard Elliott Bee, Jr.|
The close relationship between Jackson and his younger sister, Laura Jackson Arnold, was destroyed during the war. Laura was an outspoken Unionist who became estranged from her brother and other members of her family. Federal troops occupied her hometown of Beverly [West] Virginia during most of the war, and Mrs. Arnold cared for Federal wounded in her home.
Jackson was seventeen years younger than Lee. He had few friends. An unswerving purpose to serve God and country dominated his thinking. Wrapped in silence, blind obedience, and total devotion to God, he was exceedingly contentious with many of his subordinate officers. Yet three things bound Lee and Jackson closely to one another: love of Virginia, faith in God, and aggressiveness in combat. Jackson’s feelings for his commander were superlative: “So great is my confidence in General Lee that I am willing to follow him blindfolded.” Inside the army, and throughout the Southern press, Lee was the most respected general and Jackson the most beloved.
|Confederate Dead at Antietam|
|Battle of Fredericksburg|
|Ruins of Fredericksburg|
My precious husband,I will go to Hanover and wait there until I hear from you again, and I do trust I may be permitted to come back to you again in a few days. I am much disappointed at not seeing you again, but I commend you, my precious darling, to the merciful keeping of the God of battles, and do pray most earnestly for the success of our army this day. Oh! that our Heavenly Father may preserve and guide and bless you, is my most earnest prayer.
I leave the shirt and socks for you with Mrs. Neale, fearing I may not see you again, but I do hope it may be my privilege to be with you in a few days. Our little darling will miss dearest Papa. She is so good and sweet this morning.God bless and keep you, my darling,Your devoted little wife
So impressed was I with my discovery, that I rode rapidly back to the point on the Plank road where I had left my cavalry, and back down the road Jackson was moving, until I met "Stonewall" himself. "General," said I, "if you will ride with me, halting your column here, out of sight, I will show you the enemy's right, and you will perceive the great advantage of attacking down the Old turnpike instead of the Plank road, the enemy's lines being taken in reverse. Bring only one courier, as you will be in view from the top of the hill." Jackson assented, and I rapidly conducted him to the point of observation. There had been no change in the picture. I only knew Jackson slightly. I watched him closely as he gazed upon Howard's troops. It was then about 2 P.M. His eyes burned with a brilliant glow, lighting up a sad face. His expression was one of intense interest, his face was colored slightly with the paint of approaching battle, and radiant at the success of his flank movement. To the remarks made to him while the unconscious line of blue was pointed out, he did not reply once during the five minutes he was on the hill, and yet his lips were moving. From what I have read and heard of Jackson since that day, I know now what he was doing then. Oh! "beware of rashness," General Hooker. Stonewall Jackson is praying in full view and in rear of your right flank! While talking to the Great God of Battles, how could he hear what a poor cavalryman was saying. "Tell General Rodes," said he, suddenly whirling his horse towards the courier, "to move across the Old plank road; halt when he gets to the Old turnpike, and I will join him there." One more look upon the Federal lines, and then he rode rapidly down the hill, his arms flapping to the motion of his horse, over whose head it seemed, good rider as he was, he would certainly go. I expected to be told I had made a valuable personal reconnaissance—saving the lives of many soldiers, and that Jackson was indebted to me to that amount at least. Perhaps I might have been a little chagrined at Jackson's silence, and hence commented inwardly and adversely upon his horsemanship.
Alas! I had looked upon him for the last time.Jackson immediately returned to his corps and arranged his divisions into a line of battle to charge directly into the oblivious Federal right. The Confederates marched silently until they were merely several hundred feet from the Union position, then released a bloodthirsty cry and full charge. Many of the Federals were captured without a shot fired, the rest were driven into a full rout. Jackson pursued relentlessly back toward the center of the Federal line until dusk.
|Illustration of Jackson Shooting at Chancellorsville|
|John D. Barry|
Jackson turned to Captain James Smith (a theology student) and asked if he was there at
the operation. When he answered affirmatively, Jackson asked if he had said anything under the chloroform. Smith assured him "No." Then Jackson said "I have always thought it wrong to administer chloroform in cases where there is a probability of immediate death," but, he continued "It was the most delightful physical sensation I ever experienced. I seem to remember the most delightful music that ever greeted my ears, but I should dislike above all things to enter eternity in such a condition." Captain Smith told him he should sleep. Jackson then slept until 9:00 AM Sunday.
Jackson seemed to be doing fine the following morning, and was in good spirits. He sent Captain Joseph Morrison, his wife's brother, to Richmond to tell Anna about his wounding and to bring her back with him.
Reverend Lacy, the 2nd Corps Chaplain, came in during the morning. He looked at Jackson's stump and exclaimed," Oh General, what a calamity." Jackson would have none of that. He insisted he was not depressed or unhappy. He was certain that the Heavenly Father had designed the affliction of the loss of his arm for his own good. He felt in this or the future world to come he would discover that what seems like a calamity was actually a blessing. He told Reverend Lacy he felt that so strongly that if he had the power to replace his arm, he would not do so unless he knew the replacing was the Will of God.
His amputated arm was buried by Lacy at the Lacy house, "Ellwood", in Orange County, Virginia, near the field hospital.
|Chandler Plantation Office Building, where Jackson died|
the field?" He said to Captain Smith, "Many would regard my wounds as a great misfortune, I regard them as one of the blessings of my life." Captain Smith said, "All things work together for the good of those that love God." "Yes" Jackson replied, "that's it, that's it." He ate heartily and was cheerful throughout the day.
During the night of May 6-7 (Wednesday-Thursday) the fifth day after amputation a striking
change occurred. Jackson awakened about 1:00 AM. He was nauseous and had pain. He would not awaken Dr. McGuire who was asleep on a cot in his room. Jackson ordered his servant Jim to put wet towels on his abdomen. Cold cloths did no good, nausea continued and pain in his right side added to his nausea. He suffered through the night and finally, around dawn, called Dr. McGuire, who stated, "I found him suffering, great pain." Examination revealed pleuropneumonia of his right side. Pneumonia, so soon after amputation, was clinically obvious Thursday, May 7th, the fifth day after amputation and his doctors directed their efforts toward this new enemy. They treated his crippling pain with mercury, antimony and opium.
On May 8, the pain in his right side had eased, but he was breathing with great difficulty and complained of exhaustion. His fever and restlessness increased. Despite the efforts of pneumonia specialists, nothing seemed to bring relief to the General. He observed, "I see from the number of physicians that you think my condition dangerous, but I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go."
Later, Anna brought five-month-old Julia into the room and placed her on the bed. The general's face lit up with a smile, and said, "Little darling sweet one," then fell back into unconsciousness.
The doctors lost all hope of Jackson's recovery. He declined brandy and water and said, "It will only delay my departure and do no good. I want to preserve my mind 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 said quietly, and with an expression, as if of relief, "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees."
|Jackson's Death Bed|
|VMI Cadets at Jackson's Grave|
|Mourners at Jackson's Grave|
|Jackson Monument in Cemetery|
|Illustration of Robert E. Lee at Jackson's Grave|
|Mary Ann and Julia Laura Jackson|
In 1885, Julia Laura Jackson married William Christian and they had two children: Julia Jackson Christian and Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian. She died of typhoid fever at the age of 26 in 1889. Anna raised her two grandchildren, Julia Jackson Christian (1887-1991), who married Edmund R. Preston; and Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian (1888-1952), who married three times. Both of Jackson's grandchildren had several children; thus there are many living descendants of Stonewall Jackson.
|"Little Sorrel" at VMI|
|Burial Site of Jackson's Arm|
|Stone marking spot where Jackson was wounded|