StoneWall Jackson Essay Research Paper General Stonewall

StoneWall Jackson Essay, Research Paper

General ?Stonewall? Jackson was one of the

most widely well known leaders in the American Civil

War. He was second best only to the famous General

Lee, who also greatly admired him. His tactics are

still studied today in Military Institutes around the


On January 21, 1824, Thomas Jonathan Jackson

was born in Clarksburg, Virginia to Jonathan

Jackson, an attorney and Julia Beckwith Neale. They

had three other children; Elizabeth, Warren, and

Laura Ann. When Jackson was two years old his

father and his sister, Elizabeth died of typhoid fever.

Julia gave birth to Laura the next day. In 1830 Julia

was remarried to Blake Woodson. He disliked his new

stepchildren and was financially unstable. A little

while after the marriage, Thomas and Laura were

sent to live with their Uncle Cummins Jackson at

Jackson Mill. While there he helped around his

uncle?s farm, tending sheep with help from a

sheepdog, driving teams of oxen and helped harvest

the fields of wheat and corn. ( Gilchrist-Internet )

Most of Jackson?s education was self-taught. He

would sit up at night reading by the flickering light

of burning pine knots. There is a story that says

Thomas once made a deal with one of his uncle?s

slaves to provide him with pine knots in exchange for

reading lessons. This was in violation of a Virginian

law at the time that forbade teaching a slave to read

or write. Jackson taught the slave as promised and

the slave wrote himself a traveling pass and escaped

to freedom in the north. Jackson attended school

whenever possible. In 1837 he attended classes in the

community of Westfield for only 39 days. Two years

later he attended a school in the assembly room of

the first Lewis County courthouse in Weston. Thomas

lived at his uncle?s house until the summer of 1842

when he was appointed to the United States Military

Academy at Westpoint. Jackson graduated in June

1846 standing 17th out of 59 graduates. ( VMI-


While at Jackson Mill, Thomas served as a

schoolteacher for four months during the winter of

1840- 1841 then he was elected a Lewis County

constable. He was only seventeen at the time, a year

to young of the legal age of 18 necessary to hold the

position. It is believed that his uncle?s influence in the

county helped bend the age requirement. After

serving in the Mexican War, Jackson resigned from

the army to take a teaching job at the Virginia

Military Institute in lexington to become a professor

of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and

Artillery Tactics. ( Gilchrist-internet) Jackson was a

horrible teacher. He just couldn?t get the ideas he

was trying to teach into the heads of his students. His

students ridiculed and disliked him very much. In 1856,

members of the VMI Society of Alumni presented to

the board of visitors a petition to have Jackson

removed from office, which was unsuccessful.

Jackson was unaware of the controversy until a full

year later. He was also the subject to many cadet

pranks such as throwing spitballs, making noises

when his back was turned, dropping a brick as he

passed underneath a barracks window (ouch), and

pulling linchpins from canon wheels during artillery

drills. ( VMI- Internet)

After his graduation from Westpoint, Jackson

served as a lieutenant in the Mexican War. He was

commended twice for bravery and received more

promotions than any other officer during the war. He

then took the teaching job at VMI for 10 years before

returning to the army once again as general to fight

on the confederate side in the Civil War.

(VMI-internet) On July 21, 1861, Jackson was in

command of a brigade during the Battle of Bull Run,

when Confederate General Bernard Bee was trying

to rally his own troops and he saw Jackson holding

his own brigade then he shouted,? There stands

Jackson?s brigade like a stonewall! Rally behind the

Virginians!? From then on Jackson was known

worldwide as ?Stonewall? Jackson. During the

Shenandoah Valley campaign in 1862, Jackson with no

more than 16000 troops defeated 60,000 Union

Troopers in a series of marches and battles. Then

Jackson raced to the aid of General Robert E Lee at

Richmond. He also fought in the seven days battles

and at Cedar Mountain, the second Battle of Bull

Run, Antietan, and Fredrcksburg. In May1863,

Jackson and his troops struck from behind and drove

the enemy back near Chancellorsville. At nightfall

Jackson scouted ahead and some of his own troops

shot him mistakenly. Doctors amputated his left arm

and eight days later, May 10 1863 General Thomas J

(Stonewall) Jackson died of pneumonia. His last

words were ? Let us cross over the river, and rest

under the shade of the trees.? ( World Book-


In conclusion, General Stonewall Jackson is the

one of the most famous confederate generals

because of his skilled tactics. (Collier?s-

Encyclopedia) He is still an idol all throughout the

south, and he will be remembered forever as the

legendary Stonewall Jackson.


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