Jackson, Stonewall (1824-1863)
considered by military authorities an outstanding leader, a skilled tactician, and one of the ablest Confederate commanders.
Jackson was born Thomas Jonathan Jackson on January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia (now in West Virginia), and was educated at the U.S . Military Academy. Following his graduation (1846) from West Point he participated in the Mexican War until 1848. He became an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute in 1851, and the next year he resigned from the army. On the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861, he left VMI to enter the Confederate army. He was immediately commissioned a colonel and within months was given the rank of brigadier general. While commanding his troops, the so-called Stonewall Brigade, during a campaign in the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1862, Jackson executed a remarkable tactical maneuver against three Union armies then menacing Richmond. After driving back the army of General Nathaniel Prentiss Banks, which was advancing from the north, Jackson turned and defeated the armies threatening to attack his rear ranks from the east and west.
Jackson subsequently took part, with General Robert E. Lee, in the defeat of General George McClellan in the Seven Days' Battle at Richmond. In August 1862, Jackson defeated the army of General John Pope, thus ensuring a Confederate victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run. Jackson then crossed the Potomac into Maryland with Lee, who ordered him to capture Harpers Ferry. His task accomplished in September 1862, Jackson rushed north to Antietam Creek to aid Lee, who was under attack by an overwhelming Union force. Jackson commanded the right wing of the victorious Confederate army at Frederiksburg in December 1862. On May 2, 1863, while leading his forces at Chancellorsville, Jackson was accidentally shot and fatally wounded by...