"There Stands Jackson Like A Stone Wall"


Colonel Thomas J. Jackson retired from the army (at 27 years of age) to become an instructor at the Virginia Military Institute.  He was appointed a Brigadier General just before the Civil War, and was present at the execution of John Brown. He later became General Lee's favorite and most trusted lieutenant.

His motto which he adopted in his youth was, "You may be what you resolve to be."

He is seen here on his favorite horse, Little Sorrel.  A horse named "Fancy" was given to him as a gift, and because of its sorrel, or chestnut, color, and small size (only 15 hands) he named it "Little Sorrel."

The horse had such a gentle gait and stride that he could sleep while riding it during long rides.

General Jackson gained his second nickname of "Stonewall" during the first battle of Bull Run.  Prior to that battle he had been known as "Old Blue Light" because of his eyes.  This battle defined his leadership style as a general of "mystify, mislead and surprise."









Retreating from the hill in the far distance (you can see the cleared area) he took his brigade to a crest beyond the Henry House.  An outbuilding of the Henry House can be seen on the left.  There he, and his Virginia Volunteers, stood, clearly exposed to cannon and musket fire, just about the point of this monument.  He stayed there.

It appears this act inspired General Barnard Bee of South Carolina.  There are many versions of what General Bee is said to exclaim.  From their position in the trees in the distance behind General Jackson, Bee is said to have yelled,

"Form!  Form!  There stands Jackson like a stone wall!  Rally round the Virginians!"

It is unknown if he meant that as a criticism or a compliment, but he did rally, along with his men.  Taking position with the Virginians Bee was shot and died a day or so later.  He never did get to explain what he meant.

This marker is on the spot where he was shot, just feet from the Jackson Monument above.

Jackson himself would only survive two more years.  Shot by friendly fire, his left arm had to be amputated. 

Later, sending him a note, Lee said, "You have lost your left.  I have lost my right arm."

Jackson died about a week later, apparently from pneumonia.

His final words were,

"It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. I have always desired to die on Sunday.  Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of yonder trees." 

He was only 39 years old.

He is buried in two places.  His left arm at the small family cemetery on the Elwood Plantation in Orange County VA, about a mile from where it was amputated.  His body is buried in a cemetery in Lexington VA.

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Jay performs inspections Monday through Saturday, throughout Northern Virginia, from his office in Bristow to Leesburg and Centreville, to Great Falls and Vienna and everywhere in between!