Thomas jonathan jackson was the great-grandson of john jackson (1715 or 1719 1801) and elizabeth cummins (also known as elizabeth comings and elizabeth needles) (1723 1828). John jackson was born a protestant in coleraine, county londonderry, in northern ireland. While living in london, he was convicted of the capital crime of larceny for stealing 170; the judge at the old bailey sentenced him to a seven-year indenture in america. Elizabeth, a strong, blonde woman over 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, born in london, was also convicted of larceny in an unrelated case for stealing 19 pieces of silver, jewelry, and fine lace, and received a similar sentence. They both were transported on the prison ship litchfield, which departed london in may 1749 with 150 convicts. John and elizabeth met on board and were in love by the time the ship arrived at annapolis, maryland. Although they were sent to different locations in maryland for their indentures, the couple married in july 1755. The family migrated west across the blue ridge mountains to settle near moorefield, virginia, (now west virginia) in 1758. In 1770, they moved further west to the tygart valley. They began to acquire large parcels of virgin farmland near the present-day town of buckhannon, including 3,000 acres (12 km) in elizabeth’s name. John and his two teenage sons were early recruits for the american revolutionary war, fighting in the battle of kings mountain on october 7, 1780; john finished the war as captain and served as a lieutenant of the virginia militia after 1787. In 1842, jackson was accepted to the united states military academy at west point, new york. Because of his inadequate schooling, he had difficulty with the entrance examinations and began his studies at the bottom of his class. As a student, he had to work harder than most cadets to absorb lessons. However, displaying a dogged determination that was to characterize his life, he became one of the hardest working cadets in the academy, and moved steadily up the academic rankings. Jackson graduated 17th out of 59 students in the class of 1846. It was said by his peers that if he had stayed there another year, he would have graduated first. Jackson began his united states army career as a brevet second lieutenant in the 1st u.S. Artillery regiment and was sent to fight in the mexican-american war from 1846 to 1848. He served at the siege of veracruz and the battles of contreras, chapultepec, and mexico city, eventually earning two brevet promotions, and the regular army rank of first lieutenant. It was in mexico that jackson first met robert e. Lee.During the assault on chapultepec castle, he refused what he felt was a “bad order” to withdraw his troops. Confronted by his superior, he explained his rationale, claiming withdrawal was more hazardous than continuing his overmatched artillery duel. His judgment proved correct, and a relieving brigade was able to exploit the advantage jackson had broached. In contrast to this display of strength of character, he obeyed what he also felt was a “bad order” when he raked a civilian throng with artillery fire after the mexican authorities failed to surrender mexico city at the hour demanded by the u.S. Forces. The former episode, and later aggressive action against the retreating mexican army, earned him field promotion to the brevet rank of major.In the spring of 1851, jackson accepted a newly created teaching position at the virginia military institute (vmi), in lexington, virginia. He became professor of natural and experimental philosophy and instructor of artillery. Jackson’s teachings are still used at vmi today because they are military essentials that are timeless.However; despite the high quality of his work, he was not popular as a teacher. He memorized his lectures and then recited them to the class; any students who came to ask for help were only given the same explanation as before. And if students came to ask again, jackson viewed this as insubordination and likewise punished them. The students mocked his apparently stern, religious nature and his eccentric traits. In 1856, a group of alumni attempted to have jackson removed from his position. Little as he was known to the white inhabitants of lexington, jackson was revered by many of the african-americans in town, both slaves and free blacks. He was instrumental in the organization in 1855 of sunday school classes for blacks at the presbyterian church. His second wife, mary anna jackson, taught with jackson. In 1861, as the american civil war broke out, jackson became a drill master for some of the many new recruits in the confederate army. On april 27, 1861, virginia governor john letcher ordered colonel jackson to take command at harpers ferry, where he would assemble and command the famous “stonewall brigade”, consisting of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd virginia infantry regiments. All of these units were from the shenandoah valley region of virginia, where jackson located his headquarters throughout the first two years of the war. Jackson became known for his relentless drilling of his troops; he believed discipline was vital to success on the battlefield. Following the great train raid of 1861 he was promoted to brigadier general on june 17. Jackson rose to prominence and earned his most famous nickname at the first battle of bull run (manassas) in july 1861. As the confederate lines began to crumble under heavy union assault, jackson’s brigade provided crucial reinforcements on henry house hill, demonstrating the discipline he instilled in his men. Brig. Gen. Barnard elliott bee, jr., exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, “there is jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me.” there is some controversy over bee’s statement and intent, which could not be clarified because he was killed almost immediately after speaking and none of his subordinate officers wrote reports of the battle. Major burnett rhett, chief of staff to general joseph e. Johnston, claimed that bee was angry at jackson’s failure to come immediately to the relief of bee’s and bartow’s brigades while they were under heavy pressure. Those who subscribe to this opinion believe that bee’s statement was meant to be pejorative: “look at jackson standing there like a damned stone wall!” regardless of the controversy and the delay in relieving bee, jackson’s brigade, which would henceforth be known as the stonewall brigade, stopped the union assault and suffered more casualties than any other southern brigade that day. After the battle, jackson was promoted to major general (october 7, 1861) and given command of the valley district, with headquarters in winchester.In the spring of 1862, union maj. Gen. George b. Mcclellan’s army of the potomac approached richmond from the southeast in the peninsula campaign, maj. Gen. Irvin mcdowell’s large corps were poised to hit richmond from the north, and maj. Gen. Nathaniel p. Banks’s army threatened the shenandoah valley. Jackson was ordered by richmond to operate in the valley to defeat banks’ threat and prevent mcdowell’s troops from reinforcing mcclellan.Jackson possessed the attributes to succeed against his poorly coordinated and sometimes timid opponents: a combination of great audacity, excellent knowledge and shrewd use of the terrain, and the ability to inspire his troops to great feats of marching and fighting.The campaign started with a tactical defeat at kernstown on march 23, 1862, when faulty intelligence led him to believe he was attacking a much smaller force than was actually present, but it was a strategic victory for the confederacy, forcing president abraham lincoln to keep banks’ forces in the valley and mcdowell’s 30,000-man corps near fredericksburg, subtracting about 50,000 soldiers from mcclellan’s invasion force. In addition, it was jackson’s only defeat in the valley.By adding maj. Gen. Richard s. Ewell’s large division and major general edward johnson’s small division, jackson increased his army to 17,000 men. He was still significantly outnumbered, but attacked portions of his divided enemy individually at mcdowell, defeating both robert h. Milroy and, robert c. Schenck. He defeated banks at front royal and winchester, ejecting him from the valley. Lincoln decided that the defeat of jackson was an immediate priority (though jackson’s orders were solely to keep union forces occupied away from richmond). They ordered irvin mcdowell to send 20,000 men to front royal and maj. Gen. John c. Frmont to move to harrisonburg. If both forces could converge at strasburg, jackson’s only escape route up the valley would be cut.After a series of maneuvers, jackson defeated frmont’s command at cross keys and brig. Gen. James shields at port republic on june 89. Union forces were withdrawn from the valley.It was a classic military campaign of surprise and maneuver. Jackson pressed his army to travel 646 miles (1,040 km) in 48 days of marching and won five significant victories with a force of about 17,000 against a combined force of 60,000. Stonewall jackson’s reputation for moving his troops so rapidly earned them the nickname “foot cavalry”. He became the most celebrated soldier in the confederacy (until he was eventually eclipsed by lee) and lifted the morale of the southern public.Mcclellan’s peninsula campaign toward richmond stalled at the battle of seven pines on may 31 and june 1. After the valley campaign, ended in mid-june, jackson and his troops were called to join robert e. Lee’s army of northern virginia in defense of richmond. By utilizing a railroad tunnel under the blue ridge mountains and then transporting troops to hanover county on the virginia central railroad, jackson and his forces made a surprise appearance in front of mcclellan at mechanicsville. Reports had last placed jackson’s forces in the shenandoah valley; their presence near richmond added greatly to the union commander’s overestimation of the strength and numbers of the forces before him. This proved a crucial factor in mcclellan’s decision to re-establish his base at a point many miles downstream from richmond on the james river at harrison’s landing, essentially a retreat that ended the peninsula campaign and prolonged the war almost three more years.Jackson’s troops served well under lee in the series of battles known as the seven days battles, but jackson’s own performance in those battles is generally considered to be poor. He arrived late at mechanicsville and inexplicably ordered his men to bivouac for the night within clear earshot of the battle. He was late and disoriented at gaines’ mill. He was late again at savage’s station, and at white oak swamp, he failed to employ fording places to cross white oak swamp creek, attempting for hours to rebuild a bridge, which limited his involvement to an ineffectual artillery duel and a missed opportunity. At malvern hill, jackson participated in the futile, piecemeal frontal assaults against entrenched union infantry and massed artillery and suffered heavy casualties, but this was a problem for all of lee’s army in that ill-considered battle. The reasons for jackson’s sluggish and poorly coordinated actions during the seven days are disputed, although a severe lack of sleep after the grueling march and railroad trip from the shenandoah valley was probably a significant factor. Both jackson and his troops were completely exhausted.The military reputations of lee’s corps commanders are often characterized as stonewall jackson representing the audacious, offensive component of lee’s army, whereas his counterpart, james longstreet, more typically advocated and executed defensive strategies and tactics. Jackson has been described as the army’s hammer, longstreet its anvil. in the northern virginia campaign of august 1862, this stereotype did not hold true. Longstreet commanded the right wing (later to become known as the first corps) and jackson commanded the left wing. Jackson started the campaign under lee’s orders with a sweeping flanking maneuver that placed his corps into the rear of union maj. Gen. John pope’s army of virginia, but he then took up a defensive position and effectively invited pope to assault him. On august 2829, the start of the second battle of bull run, pope launched repeated assaults against jackson as longstreet and the remainder of the army marched north to reach the battlefield.On august 30, pope came to believe that jackson was starting to retreat, and longstreet took advantage of this by launching a massive assault on the union army’s left with over 25,000 men. Although the union troops put up a furious defense, pope’s army was forced to retreat in a manner similar to the embarrassing union defeat at first bull run, fought on roughly the same battleground. When lee decided to invade the north in the maryland campaign, jackson took harpers ferry, then hastened to join the rest of the army at sharpsburg, maryland, where they fought mcclellan in the battle of antietam. Antietam was primarily a defensive battle fought against superior odds, although mcclellan failed to exploit his advantage. Jackson’s men bore the brunt of the initial attacks on the northern end of the battlefield and, at the end of the day, successfully resisted a breakthrough on the southern end when jackson’s subordinate, maj. Gen. A.P. Hill, arrived at the last minute from harpers ferry. The confederate forces held their position, but the battle was extremely bloody for both sides, and lee withdrew the army of northern virginia back across the potomac river, ending the invasion. Jackson was promoted to lieutenant general. On october 10 his command was redesignated the second corps. Before the armies camped for winter, jackson’s second corps held off a strong union assault against the right flank of the confederate line at the battle of fredericksburg, in what became a decisive confederate victory. Just before the battle, jackson was delighted to receive a letter about the birth of his daughter, julia laura jackson, on november 23. Also before the battle, maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, lee’s dashing and well-dressed cavalry commander, presented to jackson a fine general’s frock that he had ordered from one of the best tailors in richmond. Jackson’s previous coat was threadbare and colorless from exposure to the elements, its buttons removed by admiring ladies. Jackson asked his staff to thank stuart, saying that although the coat was too handsome for him, he would cherish it as a souvenir. His staff insisted that he wear it to dinner, which caused scores of soldiers to rush to see him in uncharacteristic garb. So embarrassed was jackson with the attention that he did not wear the new uniform for months. At the battle of chancellorsville, the army of northern virginia was faced with a serious threat by the army of the potomac and its new commanding general, major general joseph hooker. General lee decided to employ a risky tactic to take the initiative and offensive away from hooker’s new southern thrusthe decided to divide his forces. Jackson and his entire corps were sent on an aggressive flanking maneuver to the right of the union lines. This flanking movement would be one of the most successful and dramatic of the war. While riding with his infantry in a wide berth well south and west of the federal line of battle, jackson employed maj. Gen. Fitzhugh lee’s cavalry to provide for better reconnaissance in regards to the exact location of the union right and rear. The results were far better than even jackson could have hoped. Lee found the entire right side of the federal lines in the middle of open field, guarded merely by two guns that faced westward, as well as the supplies and rear encampments. The men were eating and playing games in carefree fashion, completely unaware that an entire confederate corps was less than a mile away. Jackson immediately returned to his corps and arranged his divisions into a line of battle to charge directly into the oblivious federal right. The confederates marched silently until they were merely several hundred feet from the union position, and then released a bloodthirsty cry and full charge. Many of the federals were captured without a shot fired, the rest were driven into a full rout. Jackson pursued relentlessly back toward the center of the federal line until dusk. Darkness ended the assault. As jackson and his staff were returning to camp on may 2, they were mistaken for a union cavalry force by a confederate north carolina regiment who shouted, “halt, who goes there?,” but fired before evaluating the reply. Jackson was hit by three bullets, two in the left arm and one in the right hand. Several other men in his staff were killed in addition to many horses. Darkness and confusion prevented jackson from getting immediate care. He was dropped from his stretcher while being evacuated because of incoming artillery rounds. Because of his injuries, jackson’s left arm had to be amputated by dr. Hunter mcguire. Jackson was moved to thomas c. Chandler’s 740 acres (3.0 km2) plantation named “fairfield.” he was offered chandler’s home for recovery, but jackson refused and suggested using chandler’s plantation office building instead. He was thought to be out of harm’s way, but unknown to the doctors, he already had classic symptoms of pneumonia, complaining of a sore chest. This soreness was mistakenly thought to be the result of his rough handling in the battlefield evacuation.Lee wrote to jackson after learning of his injuries, stating “could i have directed events, i would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead.” jackson died of complications from pneumonia on may 10, 1863. On his death bed, though he became weaker, he remained spiritually strong. Jackson’s words were “it is the lord’s day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on sundayhis body was moved to the governor’s mansion in richmond for the public to mourn, and he was then moved to be buried in the stonewall jackson memorial cemetery, lexington, virginia. However, the arm that was amputated on may 2 was buried separately by jackson’s chaplain, at the j. Horace lacy house, “ellwood”, in the wilderness of orange county, near the field hospital. Upon hearing of jackson’s death, robert e. Lee mourned the loss of both a friend and a trusted commander. The night lee learned of jackson’s death, he told his cook, “william, i have lost my right arm” (deliberately in contrast to jackson’s left arm) and “i’m bleeding at the heart.” as jackson lay dying, general robert e. Lee sent a message to jackson through chaplain lacy, saying “give general jackson my affectionate regards, and say to him: he has lost his left arm but i my right.” jackson’s sometimes-unusual command style and personality traits, combined with his frequent success in battle, contribute to his legacy as one of the most unique characters of the civil war. Although martial in attitude, he was profoundly religious, a deacon in the presbyterian church. He disliked fighting on sunday, although that did not stop him from doing so. He loved his wife very much and sent her tender letters. In direct contrast to lee, jackson was not a striking figure, often wearing old, worn-out clothes rather than a fancy uniform.