Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Dies 158 Years Ago

by History Channel Editors

The South loses one of its boldest generals on May 10, 1863, when 39-year-old Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson dies of pneumonia a week after his own troops accidentally fired on him during the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia. In the first two years of the war, Jackson terrorized Union commanders. 

A native Virginian, Jackson grew up in poverty in Clarksburg, in the mountains of what is now West Virginia. Orphaned at an early age, Jackson was raised by relatives and became a shy, lonely young man. He had only a rudimentary education but secured an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point after another young man from the same congressional district turned down his appointment. Despite poor preparation, Jackson worked hard and graduated 17th in a class of 59 cadets.

“…there stands Jackson like a stone wall.”

Confederate General Barnard Bee

When war broke out in 1861, Jackson became a brigadier general in command of five regiments raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. At the Battle of Bull Run in July 1861, Jackson earned distinction by leading the attack that secured an advantage for the Confederates. Confederate General Barnard Bee, trying to inspire his troops, exclaimed “there stands Jackson like a stone wall,” and provided one of the most enduring monikers in history.

By 1862, Jackson was recognized as one of the most effective commanders in the Confederate army. Leading his force on one of the most brilliant campaigns in military history during the summer of 1862, Jackson marched around the Shenandoah Valley and held off three Union armies while providing relief for Confederates pinned down on the James Peninsula by George McClellan’s army. He later rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia for the Seven Days battles, and his leadership was stellar at Second Bull Run in August 1862. He soon became Lee’s most trusted corps commander.

“Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson

During the Battle of Chancellorsville, despite the fact that they faced an army twice the size of theirs, Lee split his force and sent Jackson around the Union flank—a move that resulted in perhaps the Army of the Potomac’s most stunning defeat of the war. When nightfall halted the attack, Jackson rode forward to reconnoiter the territory for another assault. But as he and his aides rode back to the lines, a group of Rebels opened fire. Jackson was hit three times, and a Southern bullet shattered his left arm, which had to be amputated the next day. Soon, pneumonia set in, and Jackson began to fade. He died on May 10, 1863, with these last words: “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

Information taken from:

Civil War Began 160 Years Ago

by HB Auld, Jr.

On April 12, 1861,160 years ago, the American Civil War began.

“The bloodiest four years in American history began when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay.

During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, 1861, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

(Credit: The History Channel)

A Week of Remembrances

by HB Auld, Jr.

Today marks the beginning of the end for the Confederate States of America, 156 years ago today. (credit: Phil Galloway for the original post)

Back on April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The army was down from nearly 100,000 earlier in the war to a mere 28,000 by then.

Union forces blocked the Confederate attempt to unite with General Joseph Johnston’s troops in North Carolina and so in order to prevent any further bloodshed in an unwinnable situation General Lee chose to surrender.

Although that major surrender is remembered as the official end to the war, that was not the end of the war however. Joe Johnston surrendered the largest Rebel army on April 26, some 90,000 men. General Richard Taylor surrendered another 10,000 in Alabama on May 4th and General Edmund Kirby Smith surrendered in the Trans-Mississippi arena on May 26th. The final surrender of land forces occurred in Indian Territory on June 23rd when Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie threw in the white flag. The last Confederate unit to surrender was the CSS Shenandoah which had been at sea and had not received the news of the collapse. She gave herself up in August, thus bringing a close to a horrific war.

Today marks the beginning of a week of historical remembrances. The Civil War officially ended today, April 9, 1865. The start of the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, (160 years ago), with the firing on Fort Sumter. President Abraham Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865. He died the following morning on Saturday, April 15, 1865. The RMS Titantic struck an iceberg and sank in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, in the North Atlantic Ocean, four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City.

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