Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson Is Born

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson, one of Robert E. Lee's most outstanding generals in the Army of Northern Virginia, was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), on January 21, 1824.

Orphaned at a young age, Jackson spent much of his childhood moving between the homes of various family members. In 1842, he was awarded an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A commissioned officer during the Mexican War, he served as a second lieutenant of artillery, was promoted to first lieutenant, and later won brevets to captain and major.

Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson (January 21, 1824 – May 10, 1863) was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, and probably the most well-known Confederate commander after General Robert E. Lee. His military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee. Confederate pickets accidentally shot him at the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, which the general survived, albeit with the loss of an arm to amputation. However, he died of complications of pneumonia eight days later. His death was a severe setback for the Confederacy, affecting not only its military prospects, but also the morale of its army and of the general public.

Military historians consider Jackson to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in United States history. His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide even today as examples of innovative and bold leadership. He excelled as well at the First Battle of Bull Run (where he received his famous nickname "Stonewall"), Second Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. Jackson was not universally successful as a commander, however, as displayed by his weak and confused efforts during the Seven Days Battles around Richmond in 1862.

He is one who, if you order him to hold a post, will never leave it alive to be occupied by an enemy. ”

— Samuel McDowell Moore On Stonewall Jackson