The Illustrated London News

Home | About | Introduction | Bibliography | Articles | Illustrations | Search | Links

General "Stonewall" Jackson.

The Illustrated London News, vol.41, no.1177, p.606.

December 6, 1862

GENERAL "STONEWALL" JACKSON.

We give on the first page a Portrait of the famous Confederate officer General Thomas Jefferson Jackson, better known as "Stonewall" Jackson. He won this cognomen at Bull Run by promising Beauregard that his brigade should stand like a stone wall before the enemy, and well the promise was kept.

Thomas Jefferson Jackson was born in Virginia, about the year 1825. He graduated at West Point in 1846, and in the following year accompanied Magruder's battery to Mexico. At Contreras and Churubusco he distinguished himself so highly on the field that he was breveted Captain for gallantry. At Chapultepec he again won laurels, and was breveted Major for gallant and meritorious conduct. On his return from Mexico he was for some time in command at Fort Hamilton. At the outbreak of the rebellion Major Jackson was one of those Southerners who were greatly embarrassed to discover the true line of their duty. He had married a Northern wife, was an honourable and conscientious man, and long hesitated what course to pursue. It is stated that his father-in-law, a Northern clergyman, visited him and urged him to remain faithful to his country and his flag. They spent several hours in prayer together, and Jackson confessed that the struggle was sore. But, finally, the doctrine of State Rights, which Jackson, like so many other gallant Southerners, had imbibed early in life, won the day. "I must go with Virginia!" he cried, and plunged headlong into the vortex. The doings of this officer are too vividly impressed upon the public mind to need a recapitulation, even if we had space, which we have not, to particularise his thousand and one deeds of daring, all of which, whatever the result, were strongly marked by dash, energy, and skill.

A correspondent of the Savannah News published the following sketch of General Jackson:--

There you see self-command, perseverance, indomitable will, that seem neither to know nor think of any earthly obstacle, and all this without the least admixture of vanity, assumption, pride, foolhardiness, or anything of the kind. There seems a disposition to assert its pretensions, but from the quiet sense of conviction of his relative position, which sets the vexed question of self-importance at rest--a peculiarity, I would remark, of great minds. It is only the little and the frivolous who are for ever obtruding their petty vanities before the world. His face also expresses courage in the highest degree, and his phrenological developments indicate a vast amount of energy and activity. His forehead is broad and prominent, the occipital and sinciptal regions are both large and well-balanced; eyes expressing a singular union of mildness, energy, and concentration; cheek and nose both long and well-formed. His dress is a common grey suit of faded cassimere--coat, pants, and hat--the coat slightly braided on the sleeve, just enough to be perceptible, the collar displaying the mark of a Major-General. Of his gait, it is sufficient to say that he just goes along--not a particle of the strut, the military swagger, turkey-gobbler parade, so common among officers of small rank and smaller minds. It would be a profitable study for some of our military swells to devote one hour each day to the contemplation of the magnificent plainness of "Stonewall." To military fame which they can never hope to attain he unites the simplicity of a child and the straightforwardness of a Western farmer. There may be those who would be less struck with his appearance as thus accoutred than if bedizened with lace and holding the reins of a magnificent barb caparisoned and harnessed for glorious war; but to one who had seen him, as I had, at Cold Harbour and Malvern Hill, in the rain of shell and the blaze of the death-lights of the battle-field, when nothing less than a mountain would serve as a breastwork against the 36-inch shells which howled and shrieked through the sickly air, General Jackson in tatters would be the same hero as General Jackson in gilded uniform. In my simple view he is a nonpareil--he is without peer. He has enough energy to supply a whole manufacturing district, enough military genius to stock two or three military schools of the size of West Point.

The following sketch of the great Confederate General is given by the New York correspondent of the Times:--

The interest excited by this strange man is as curious as it is unprecedented. A classmate of M'Clellan at West Point, and there considered slow and heavy, unfavourably known in Washington as a hypochondriac and malade imaginaire, he has exhibited for the last ten months qualities which were little supposed to reside in his rugged and unsoldierlike frame, but which will hand his name down for many a generation in the company of those great captains whom men will not willingly let die. More apt for the execution than conception of great movements, leaning upon General Lee as the directing brain, and furnishing the promptest hand, the most dauntless heart, the most ascetic and rigorous self-denial, the greatest rapidity and versatility of movement, as his contributions towards the execution of General Lee's strategy, his recent operations in turning General Pope's right, and passing with a force believed not to exceed 30,000 men to the rear of such an army, massed close to its base of operations and in the act of receiving daily large reinforcements, command universal wonder and admiration. It is said that, like Hannibal, he is accustomed to live among his men without distinction of dress, without greater delicacy of fare, and that it is almost impossible, on this account, for a stranger to recognise or distinguish him among them. Every despatch from his hand has, as its exordium, "By the blessing of God." Continual are the prayer-meetings which he holds among his men, invoking a blessing upon his arms before the battle and returning thanks for preservation, and (as it has rarely failed to happen) for victory after it is over. In fact, they who have seen and heard him uplift his voice in prayer, and then have witnessed his vigour and prompt energy in the strife, say that once again Cromwell is walking the earth and leading his trusting and enraptured hosts to assured victory. It is not necessary to add that Jackson's men idolise and trust their leader enthusiastically, and have the most implicit faith in his conduct, otherwise the bold and daring steps which he has frequently taken, and from which he has never failed to come off triumphantly, would have been utter impossibilities.

Previous: London, Saturday, December 6, 1862ArticleVolume 41, no.1152, p.2 (18 paragraphs)
Next: [During the Present War in America]Articlevol.41, no.1177, p.606 (1 paragraph)
Article List for: Illustrated London News: Volume 41

Download Article as Plain Text

Search Entire Text

Keyword
Title
Article Date

University Libraries | Beck Center | | Emory University
A Joint Project by Sandra J. Still, Emily E. Katt, Collection Management, and the Beck Center.

Powered by TEI