Lieutenant General Thomas J.
Second Army Corps Commander
General Robert E. Lee's simple epitaph for General "Stonewall" Jackson was that "I know not how to replace him." He died on May 10, 1863 from a shot accidentally fired by one of his own soldiers. Shortly before his death, General "Stonewall" Jackson had given a great victory to the outnumbered Confederate Army of Northern Virginia at Chancellorsville. He had made a flanking maneuver around the Union Army and had successfully attacked them from the rear.
General Thomas J. Jackson's first notoriety and nickname came from the First Battle of Bull Run or Manassas. His unit repulsed the Union forces at a critical time. Brigadier General Barnard E. Bee sought to inspire his soldiers by calling out, "Look! There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Rally behind the Virginians." In 1862, General "Stonewall" Jackson drove the Union forces out of the Shenandoah Valley with slashing tactics. He said that his strategy was to "mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy." His unit did not perform well in the battles during the Seven Days, but they rebounded with good performances at the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia. The town is now in West Virginia which was formed during the Civil War. His father died about two years later. A hostile stepfather and poverty forced placement of the children in the homes of other family members. After an unhappy childhood, he was able to obtain an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He initially had academic problems because of a poor educational foundation, but he graduated seventeenth in a class of fifty-nine in 1846. He served heroically in the Mexican War. After a few years, he resigned from the army. He served from 1851 until 1861 as an instructor at Virginia Military Institute. When the Civil War began, the Confederate Army made him a colonel and quickly promoted him to brigadier general. He was personally described as eccentric, demanding, religious, and devoted to his family.
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