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Profile of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
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Jackson was accepted to West Point in
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Profile of Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
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Hi, I'm Christian and today we're profiling the life of Confederate Army General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.Jackson was one of the most well-known commanders for the Confederacy during the Civil War. He was born to Jonathan and Julia Jackson on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Va. -- an area that has since become West Virginia.  At the age of two Jackson's father died, leaving his widow with three small children. Growing up, he spent much of his time living with relatives including spending a good deal of his childhood at his uncle's mill, where he developed a strong work ethic and became an avid reader. Although he struggled with the entrance exams due to his lack of formal education, Jackson was accepted to West Point in 1842. He started at the bottom of his class but through tireless effort managed to graduate ranked 17 of 59 amongst his classmates in 1846.  After graduation Jackson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the first U.S. Artillery and was sent to serve in the Mexican-American War. There he saw action at the siege of Veracruz and the campaign against Mexico City. Serving under Major General Winfield Scott he earned a permanent promotion to first lieutenant.  Following the war Jackson took a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute in 1851. There he served as Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery. As Instructor of Artillery, Jackson and 21 of his cadets served as a security detail for the execution of abolitionist John Brown in 1859. While he served at the institute, Jackson was married twice. The first time to Elinor Junkin, who died during childbirth, and the second time to Mary Anna Morrison in 1857.  At the start of the Civil War Jackson was named a Colonel and assigned to Harper's Ferry There he trained troops under his command. In June he was promoted Brigadier General. In July he and his troops went east to help fortify the line at the first battle of Bull Run. With Jackson's help at Bull Run, the Confederacy managed to hold the line against Union attack, leading Brigadier General Barnard Lee to say, "there is Jackson standing like a stone wall." Although the name stuck, some historians contend that Lee may have been referring to Jackson being slow to respond rather than his strength on the line.  After winning the battle Jackson was promoted to Major General and took command of the Valley District. Shortly thereafter he would join General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Though the two worked poorly together initially they went on to make a formidable team.  While returning to camp after fighting at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, Jackson was mistaken for Union troops and was shot in twice in the left arm and once in the right hand by his own men. Although he initially pulled through the incident, which required his left arm to be amputated, he would die of pneumonia on May 10 at the age of 39. In response to the loss of Jackson General Lee said, "... he has lost his left arm, but I, my right."  Thanks for watching our overview of "Stonewall" Jackson. For more information, go to About.com.  
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