The Stonewall Dies

By | May 10, 2012

The American Civil War may have been decided on May 10, 1863. It was on that day that General Thomas Jonathan Jackson died from complications of pneumonia eight days after he was wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville. (May 2, 1863) His death was for certain a setback for the Confederate Army affecting its military leadership as well as the morale of its army.

He was wounded by friendly fire. One the moon lite evening of May 2nd he rode out onto the plank road to determine the feasibility of a night attack. As hhe and his staff was returning they were incorrectly identified as Union cavalry by men of the Second Corps who opened fire. The wound itself was not life-threatening although his arm was amputated

Jackson, who had gained the nickname Stonewall at the First Battle of Bull Run, is considered one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history. General Robert E. Lee considered the lost of Jackson to be just like losing his right arm.

Thomas Jackson was the third child of Julia Beckwith (née Neale) Jackson (1798 – 1831) and Jonathan Jackson (1790 – 1826). Both of Jackson’s parents were natives of Virginia and were living in Clarksburg, in what is now West Virginia. He was named for his maternal grandfather.

Jackson was appointed to the United States Military Academy in the summer of 1842, at the age of eighteen years old. His appointment came due to another cadet, Gibson Butcher, who had resigned after one day of service. Jackson replaced him in the class. Four years later on June 30, 1846 he left as a commissioned Brevet Second Lieutenant.

He was 17th in his class of 59. Included in the class was Union General George B. McClellan, who was 2nd, and Confederate Generals Ambrose Powell (A.P.) Hill and George Edward Pickett, who was last. In all the class had 20 men who became Generals with 19 of them serving in the Civil War, 10 on the Union side and 9 for the Confederates.


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