Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, born on January 21, 1824, was a well-known Confederate General in the American Civil War. Historians mentioned him as one of the best military tacticians in American history. He was a prominent leader in the Confederation. With his powerful presence and superb skills, his passing caused a setback in the army itself. We’re here to help you commemorate his day.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson
Stonewall, Old Jack, Tom Fool, Old Blue Light
January 21, 1824
May 10, 1863 (age 39)
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, a well-known member of the Confederacy, was born on January 21, 1824, in Harrison County, Virginia, to Julia Beckwith Jackson and attorney Jonathan Jackson. The three siblings of Jackson were Warren, Elizabeth, and Laura Ann. Later, typhoid disease caused him to lose his father and his older sister, Elizabeth, forcing his mother to look after three children before ultimately remarrying attorney Captain Blake B. Woodson. Julia’s health gradually deteriorated, and Jackson’s grandmother took over for being their caretaker. His military background started when he went to the United States Military Academy in New York in 1842. He was known as one of the most hard-working cadets due to his academic performance at first.
Jackson’s career started in 1846 when he served in the United States Army. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant to an artillery regiment. Jackson then enlisted in the Mexican War but disobeyed a flawed command from his superior, displaying the traits that would eventually earn him fame: sanity, fearlessness in taking chances, and inventiveness. Afterward, he got promoted to the brevet rank of major, resuming his fight in Mexico. In 1851, he started teaching as a Professor of Artillery Tactics and Natural Philosophy, a new curriculum at the Virginia Military Institute. Jackson became unpopular amongst students due to his strict and stern way of teaching. He also taught Sunday School at this time. In 1855, Jackson organized Sunday School classes for black people at the Presbyterian Church and was praised for his teaching methods.
In 1861, Jackson returned to the Civil War’s front lines and joined the Confederate Army as a Colonel. From this point on, his career developed quickly, bringing him quick fame and promotions. One of his famed acts was stationing his brigades in a powerful line on the field of Bull Run in July 1861. Against overwhelming force from the enemy, his troops successfully withheld their place, and he earned the nickname Stonewall. Jackson demonstrated his remarkable tactical abilities during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign in 1862, which the Confederate soldiers praised and successfully boosted their spirits. Jackson saw many ups and downs after that victory, and in 1863, one of his soldiers unintentionally shot him. He was slightly hurt, but a week later, sickness took his life.
Jackson started family life during his time as an educator in the V.M.I. He married Elinor “Ellie” Junkin in 1853, the president of Washington College. They lived together in the same house, and later when Robert E. Lee became president, it was known as the Lee-Jackson House. Junkin then passed during childbirth in 1854. After touring Europe, Jackson married Marry Anna Morrison. They had two children, Mary Graham, that passed shortly after her birth in 1858, and Julia Laura, who was born in 1862 before Jackson’s death.
Jackson starts his military education at the United States Military Academy in New York, earning him a reputation as one of its most hardworking students.
After graduating from military school, Jackson is commissioned to serve as Second Lieutenant in the artillery regiment.
Jackson accepts the offer to teach a new curriculum at the Virginia Military Institute as a Professor of Artillery Tactics and Natural Philosophy.
After a period of teaching, Jackson goes back to serve in the military after the Civil War outbreak as a Colonel of the Confederate Army.
Jackson shows his impressive tactician skills during this campaign, earning him praise from many soldiers and lifting their spirits.
Why We Love Thomas Stonewall Jackson
We love his stern and strong demeanor
Jackson earned the nickname Stonewall because of this. Jackson carried himself with sureness, even going as far as taking the risk and challenging his superiors’ orders on the battlefield.
We love his strong sense of responsibility
Even though he wasn’t the most popular educator, Jackson prepared well with in-depth teaching materials before his classes, showing how he took education seriously. He was mockingly referred to as Deacon Jackson and compared to Oliver Cromwell because of his strong sense of moral obligation, morality, and dedication to the cadets' education.
He worked hard for his goals
Other than his exceptional talent and straightforward but stern approach to his work, Jackson recognized his weaknesses and worked hard to achieve the best for himself. We can see this, especially during his academic days in the military academy.
5 Surprising Facts
He was pranked by a student
During his time in V.M.I., a cadet played a prank on him; Jackson then tried to get him dismissed from the V.M.I., further cementing the view that he had little sense of humor.
He cared about his health
Though some could label him a hypochondriac for worrying excessively about getting a severe illness, Jackson thought it had assisted him in remaining well.
He rarely ate big meals
It’s known that Jackson rarely ate much food daily and just ate crackers and milk.
His love for catnaps
Jackson rarely ran on long hours of sleep, opting to take catnaps instead.
He was religious
Jackson believed his faith aided him in his military success and tactics.
Thomas Stonewall Jackson FAQs
What is Stonewall Jackson most remembered for?
Jackson had a reputation for being a military genius. Even now, military academies still cover some of his warfare strategies. Numerous places, such as Stonewall Jackson State Park in West Virginia and the carving on the face of Stone Mountain in Georgia, serve to honor him.
What did Stonewall Jackson believe in?
He was Christian and believed in predestination. Jackson saw himself as an instrument of God’s will, and he commanded troops in the service of the Lord.
Was Stonewall Jackson a vegetarian?
Yes, he was. Jackson saw the direct link between diet and health and was keen on staying healthy.
Thomas Stonewall Jackson’s birthday dates