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Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Full Name Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Age 39 years old at time of death
Birthday January 21, 1824
Death Date May 10, 1863
Birth Sign Aquarius
Born Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia)
Height 5‘ 11.5"
Net Worth $400K (estimated)
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Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was an American Civil War hero and Confederate army general. He earned his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861 when his brigade stood firm against a Union assault, like a "stone wall." Jackson‘s skill in leading his "foot cavalry" to victory in the Shenandoah Valley Campaign solidified his status as a Confederate legend.

Early Life and Pre-War Military Career

Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia) on January 21, 1824. His father died when Jackson was very young, leaving his mother, Julia Neale Jackson, to raise him and his siblings alone. From a young age, Jackson worked to support his impoverished family.

Against the odds, Jackson earned an appointment to West Point, graduating in 1846. He served with distinction in the Mexican-American War and later accepted a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute in 1851. As an instructor, Jackson was known to be strict but deeply caring toward cadets.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Jackson initially served as a drillmaster for new Confederate recruits. His military experience proved invaluable for training raw troops.

"You may be whatever you resolve to be." – Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Shenandoah Valley Campaign

In 1862, Jackson was sent to the Shenandoah Valley to defend against a much larger Union force. Through rapid maneuvers and feints, Jackson managed to defeat parts of the Union army in detail.

  • Jackson and his "foot cavalry" marched over 600 miles in 48 days
  • Defeated multiple Union armies despite being outnumbered
  • Prevented Union forces from reinforcing McClellan in Peninsula Campaign
  • Earned him the nickname "Jackson‘s Foot Cavalry"

Jackson‘s victories in the Valley Campaign are considered some of the most brilliant tactical maneuvers of the entire war.

Jackson‘s Pivotal Role at Chancellorsville

At the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, Jackson executed his most famous flank march, leading his corps stealthily around the Union‘s exposed right flank. His surprise attack routed the unsuspecting XI Union Corps.

However, that night Jackson was accidentally shot and mortally wounded by his own troops. His left arm was amputated, but he died from pneumonia on May 10, 1863. Jackson‘s death was a devastating loss for the Confederacy, with Lee calling him "my right arm."

Legacy

Jackson earned a reputation as an aggressive, innovative, and steadfast commander. His leadership was vital to several key Confederate victories early in the war. Jackson has been memorialized with numerous statues, streets, parks, military bases, and institutions bearing his name. He remains one of the most legendary figures of the Civil War era.

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