Stonewall Jackson was one of the most famous Confederate commanders during the American Civil War. He was known for his courage and fearlessness on the battlefield. During many battles, he was able to stop the advance of the Union army without moving from his place which earned him the nickname ‘Stonewall’.
The actual name of Stonewall Jackson was ‘Thomas Jackson’. He was born in Clarksburg, West Virginia on January 21, 1824. While he was still quite young, his father and sister died so that Jackson had to go and live with his uncle at a farm.
He couldn’t get a proper formal education but he developed a taste for reading and often read books by borrowing them from others. While he was still quite young, he gained the position of the county constable. Later, he decided to become a part of the military and joined the West Point Military Academy.
Jackson graduated from the West Point Military Academy in 1846. He joined the army and fought in the famous Mexican-American War under the commands of General Zachary Taylor. During this war, Jackson fought bravely in a number of battles and due to his battlefield courage he was promoted to the rank of major. In 1851, Jackson left the army and started teaching at the Virginia Military Institute.
The American Civil War started in 1861. Jackson supported the Confederacy and became a part of the Confederate army. He was initially given the rank of Colonel. His first major performance on the battlefield came during the First Battle of Bull Run in July, 1861.
During the battle, the Confederate army was on the brink of defeat when Jackson made his famous stand at Henry House Hill. The Union army attacked them again and again but Jackson and his soldiers stood their ground and defied every attack. It was here that he earned the name of Stonewall Jackson when someone said that he was ‘standing like a stone wall’ against the enemy forces. His stand helped the Confederacy win this battle.
In 1862, Jackson and the troops under his command played a key role in winning many battles for the Confederacy. He played a very important role at the Second Battle of Bull Run and the Battle of Antietam. The commander-in-chief of the Confederate armies, General Robert E. Lee, called Jackson his right arm.
In 1863, Stonewall Jackson fought in the Battle of Chancellorsville. Despite the huge size of the Union army, the Confederate army won the battle, mainly because of the courage and bravery of Jackson and his troops. However, after the battle was nearly over, Jackson was accidentally shot by one of his soldiers and died on May 10, 1863.
Stonewall Jackson was one of the most important and courageous Confederate commanders. As long as he fought on the side of the Confederacy, he turned many battles in favor of the Confederacy against difficult odds. His battlefield tactics and strategies are still considered a piece of genius and taught in military academies to this day. It was because of his significance for the Confederate armies that when he died, General Robert E. Lee said that ‘I have lost my right arm’.