Stonewall Jackson, born January 21, 1824 was one of the most famous confederate generals and one of the best officers to serve for General Robert E. Lee. But Jackson wasn't just born a general, he earned it. Since his parents died when he was very young, life was very rough for him. He was raised by his uncle, Cummins Jackson, a miller who lived near what is now known as Weston, West Virginia.
Later on, he was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy. He had to work several times harder than the other cadets to learn the lessons in school because of poor education when he was young. But his grades slowly increased until he graduated. He was said to have been in the upper third of his class. His military career had just begun.
As soon as he received his commission as lieutenant of artillery, Jackson was assigned to the war zone in Mexico.
There he first met Robert E. Lee. Jackson served at Veracruz, Contreras, Chapultepec, and Mexico City, and rose to the temporary rank of major within a year.
In 1850, after the Mexican war was over he went to Florida to fight the Seminole Indians. Jackson left the army in 1850 and became a math professor at Virginia Military Institute where he taught for ten years. He was not a very good teacher of math. Many students mocked him and made fun of how religious he was. In 1853, he married Elinor Junkin, who died a year later. In 1857, he married Mary Anna Morrison.
Jackson joined the Confederacy and soon made his reputation as Stonewall Jackson at the First Battle of Bull Run, also called Manassas. When his men were retreating he stood still while enemy soldiers were firing at him. His troops saw him and one of them shouted "There is Jackson standing like a stonewall." Only then did his men have the courage to fight on and eventually win. In 1862, in the Shenandoah valley Jackson earned international fame by defeating 60,000 Union soldiers with only 17,000 troops. After the campaign ended he went to help Robert E. Lee in Richmond. He and Lee were very close to each other and knew each other like brothers. Other battles Jackson fought in were The Seven Days Battles, Cedar Mountain, the Second Battle of Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
Jackson fought his greatest battle in May 1863. He and his Second Corps struck the Union from behind near Chancellorsville and defeated them. At nightfall is when tragedy struck. In the darkness some of Jackson's men mistook him for the enemy and shot him. His left arm had to be amputated because of bullet wounds. General Lee commented and said " He has lost his left arm; but I have lost my right arm." Eight days after he was shot, May 10, he died of pneumonia. The Confederate army had won the battle in which Jackson had fallen, but the chances of winning the war had grown very small. Jackson was buried at Lexington, Va. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1955. Some say if Stonewall Jackson didn't die, the South would have won the war.