The Life of General “Stonewall” Jackson, Mary L. Williamson
The Life of General “Stonewall” Jackson
Mary L. Williamson
3:45 h History Lvl 9.47
Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson served as a Confederate general (1861–1863) during the American Civil War, and became one of the best-known Confederate commanders after General Robert E. Lee. Jackson played a prominent role in nearly all military engagements in the Eastern Theater of the war until his death, and had a key part in winning many significant battles. Military historians regard Jackson as one of the most gifted tactical commanders in U.S. history. His tactics are studied even today. His death proved a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and the general public. After Jackson's death, his military exploits developed a legendary quality, becoming an important element of the ideology of the "Lost Cause".

The Life of General “Stonewall” Jackson

Mary L. Williamson

Stonewall Jackson’s Way

Des Rivieres.

Come! stack arms, men; pile on the rails,
Stir up the camp-fires bright;
No matter if the canteen fails,
We’ll make a roaring night.
Here Shenandoah brawls along,
There lofty Blue Ridge echoes strong
To swell the brigade’s rousing song
Of “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”

We see him now — the old slouched hat
Cocked o’er his eye askew;
The shrewd, dry smile, the speech so pat,
So calm, so blunt, so true.
The “Blue Light Elder” knows them well:
Says he, “That’s Banks — he’s fond of shell;
Lord save his soul! we’ll give him —” Well,
That’s Stonewall Jackson’s Way.

Silence! ground arms! kneel all! caps off!
“Old Blue Light’s” going to pray;
Strangle the fool who dares to scoff!
Attention! it’s his way:
Appealing from his native sod,
In forma pauperis to God —
“Lay bare thine arm, stretch forth thy rod;
Amen!” That’s Stonewall Jackson’s Way.

He’s in the saddle now. Fall in!
Steady! the whole brigade!
Hill’s at the ford, cut off! We’ll win
His way out ball and blade.
What matter if our shoes are worn?
What matter if our feet are torn?
Quick step! we’re with him e’er the morn!
That’s Stonewall Jackson’s Way.

The sun’s bright glances rout the mists
Of morning — and, by George!
There’s Longstreet struggling in the lists,
Hemmed in an ugly gorge.
Pope and his columns whipped before. —
“Bay’nets and grape!” hear Stonewall roar;
“Charge, Stuart! pay off Ashby’s score!”
Is “Stonewall Jackson’s Way.”

Chapter I
An Orphan Boy

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born January 21, 1824, at Clarksburg, West Virginia, which state was then a part of old Virginia. He sprang from Scotch-Irish stock. His great-grandfather, John Jackson, was born in Ireland, but his parents moved to the city of London when John was only two years old. John Jackson grew up to be a great trader. In 1748 he came to the New World to make his fortune, and landed in the State of Maryland. Not long after, he married Elizabeth Cummins, a young woman who was noted for her good looks, fine mind, and great height.

House in which Jackson was Born, Clarksburg, Va.

John Jackson with his wife soon moved West, and at last took up lands in what is now known as Upshur county, West Virginia. As land was then cheap, he soon owned a large tract of country, and was a rich man for those times. He was greatly aided by his brave wife, Elizabeth. In those days the Indians still made war upon the whites, who would flee for safety into the forts or strongholds. It is said that in more than one of those Indian raids Elizabeth Jackson aided in driving off the foe.

Father of “Stonewall” Jackson.

When the great Revolutionary war came on, John Jackson and several of his sons marched to the war; and at its close came back safe to their Virginia home. In these lovely and fertile valleys, John Jackson and his wife Elizabeth passed long and active lives. The husband lived to be eighty-six years old, while his wife lived to the great age of one hundred and five years. Her strength of body and mind fitted her to rear a race of mighty men.

Thomas Jonathan was the great-grandson of these good people. His father, Jonathan Jackson, was a lawyer. He is said to have been a man of good mind and kind heart. Thomas’s mother was Julia Neale, the daughter of a merchant in the then village of Parkersburg, on the Ohio river. Mrs. Jackson was good and beautiful. Thomas had one brother, Warren, and two sisters, Elizabeth and Laura. Not long after the birth of the baby Laura, Elizabeth was taken sick with fever and died. Her father, worn out with nursing, was also taken ill; and two weeks after her death he was laid in a grave by her side.

After his death it was found that he had left no property for his widow and babes. They were now without a home, and the Masonic Order gave the widow a house of one room. Here she sewed, and taught school, caring as well as she could for her little fatherless children.

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