Let Us Cross Over
The River

  An amazing man, and a most amazing time. During 1861-65
 American's were at war with one another. Some six
million lives were lost. This was certainly the bloodiest
 times in our History.
There was a teacher, later to become a General for the
    Southern Confederacy named Thomas J.Jackson.
   This is a brief overview of his contribution to the cause
  he so embraced. Some of his tactics and exploits
     are still reviled to this day

                                          Thomas Jonathan Jackson 

Lieutenant-General Thomas Jonathan Jackson was one of those rare historical characte who are claimed by all people--a man of his race almost as much as of the Confederacy. No war has produced a military celebrity more remarkable, nor one whose fame will be more
enduring. He was born January  21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Va., and his parents, who were of 
  patriotic Revolutionary stock, dying while he was but a child, he was reared and educate by
 his kindred in the pure and simple habits of rural life,  taught in good English schools, and is described as a "diligent, plodding scholar, having a strong mind,   though it was slow in development." But he was in boyhood" a leader among his fellow-students in the athletic sports of the times, in which he generally managed his side of the contest so as to win the victory. By this country training he became a bold and expert rider and cultivated that spirit of daring which being held sometime this country training he became a bold and expert rider 
and cultivateds in abeyance displayed itself in his Mexican service, and then suddenly
    again in the Confederate war. In June, 1842, at the age of eighteen, he was appointed to a cadetship in
     the military academy at West Point, where, commencing with the disadvantages of inadequate
     preparation, he overcame obstacles by such determination as to rise from year to year in the estimation
     of the faculty. He graduated June 30, 1846, at the age of twenty-two years, receiving brevet rank as
     second-lieutenant at the beginning of the Mexican war, and was ordered to report for duty with the First
     Regular artillery, with which he shared in the many brilliant battles which General Scott fought from
 Vera Cruz to the City of Mexico. He was often commended for his soldierly conduct and soon received
     successive promotions for gallantry at Contreras and Churubusco. Captain Magruder, afterwards a
     Confederate general, thus mentioned him in orders: "If devotion, industry, talent, and gallantry are the
     highest qualities of a soldier, then is he entitled to the distinction which their possession confers."
     Jackson was one of the volunteers in the storming of Chapultepec, and for his daring there was
     brevetted major, which was his rank at the close of the Mexican war.

 His religious character, which history has and will inseparably connect with his military life, appears to have begun forming in the City of Mexico, where his attention was directed to the subject of the variety
     of  beliefs on religious questions. His amiable and affectionate biographer (Mrs. Jackson) mentions that
     Colonel Francis Taylor, the commander of the First artillery, under whom Jackson was serving, was the first man to speak to him on the subject of personal religion. Jackson had not at any time of his life
     yielded to the vices, and was in all habits strictly moral, but had given no particular attention to the
     duties enjoined by the church. Convinced now that this neglect was wrong, he began to study the Bible
     and pursued his inquiries until he finally united (1851) with the Presbyterian church. His remarkable
     devoutness of habit and unwavering confidence in the truth of his faith contributed, it is conceded, very
     greatly to the full development of his singular character, as well as to his marvelous success.
     In 1848 Jackson's command was stationed at Fort Hamilton for two years, then at Fort Meade, in
     Florida, and from that station he was elected to a chair in the Virginia military institute at Lexington in
     1851, which he accepted, and resigning his commission, made Lexington his home ten years, and until
     he began his remarkable' career in the Confederate war. Two years later, 1853, he married Miss
     Eleanor, daughter of Rev. Dr. Junkin, president of Washington college, but she lived scarcely more
     than a year. Three years after, July 16, 1857, his second marriage occurred, with Miss Mary Anna,
     daughter of Rev. Dr. H. R- Morrison, of North Carolina, a distinguished educator, whose other
     daughters married men who attained eminence in civil and military life, among them being.
                                  General D  H. Hill, General Rufus Barringer, and Chief Justice A. C. Avery.


 The only special incident occurring amidst the educational and domestic life of Major Jackson, which
     flowed on serenely from this hour, was the summons of the cadets of the Institute by Governor Letcher,
     to proceed to Harper's Ferry on the occasion of the raid of John Brown in 1859.
     During the presidential campaign of 1860 Major Jackson visited New England and there heard enough
     to arouse his fears for the safety of the Union. At the election of that year he cast his vote for
   Breckinridge on the principle that he was a State rights man, and after Lincoln's election he favored the
     policy of contending in the Union rather than out of it, for the recovery of the ground that had thus been
     lost. The course of coercion, however, alarmed him, and the failure of the Peace congress persuaded
     him that if the United States persisted in their course war would certainly result. His State saw as he
     did, and on the passage of its ordinance of secession, the military cadets under the command of Major
     Jackson were ordered to the field by the governor of Virginia. The order was promptly obeyed April 21,
     1865, from which date his Confederate military life began.
     Jackson's valuable service was given to Virginia in the occupation of Harper's Ferry and several
     subsequent small affairs, but his fame became general from the battle of First Manassas. It was at one
     of the crises of that first trial battle between the Federal and Confederate troops that he was given the
     war name of "Stonewall," by which he will be always designated. The true story will be often repeated
     that on being notified of the Federal advance to break the Confederate line he called out, "We will give
     them the bayonet," and a few minutes later the steadiness with which the brigade received the shock of
     battle caused the Confederate General Bee to exclaim: "There stands Jackson like a stone wall."

  He was commissioned brigadier-general June 17, 1861, and was promoted to major-general October 7,
     1861, with the wise assignment to command of the Valley district, which he assumed in November of
     that year. With a small force he began even in winter a series of bold operations in the great Virginia
     valley, and opened the spring campaign of 1862, on plans concerted between General Joseph E.
     Johnston and himself, by attacking the enemy at Kernstown, March 23rd, where he sustained his only
     repulse; but even in the movement which resulted in a temporary defeat he caused the recall of a
     considerable Federal force designed to strengthen McClellan in the advance against Richmond. The
     next important battle was fought at McDowell, in which Jackson won a decided victory over Fremont.
     Then moving with celerity and sagacity he drove Banks at Front Royal, struck him again at Newtown,
     and at length utterly routed him. After this, turning about on Shields, he overthrew his command also,
     and thus, in one month's campaign, broke up the Federal forces which had been sent to "crush him." In
     these rapidly executed operations he had successfully fought five battles against three distinct armies,
     requiring four hundred miles, marching to compass the fields.
     This Valley campaign of 1862 was never excelled, according to the opinions expressed by military men
     of high rank and long experience in war. It is told by Dr. McGuire, the chief surgeon of Jackson's
     command, that with swelling heart he had "heard some of the first soldiers and military students of
     England declare that within the past two hundred years the English speaking race has produced but five
     soldiers of the first rank--Marlborough, Washington, Wellington, Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and that
     this campaign in the valley was superior to either of those made by Napoleon in Italy." One British
     officer, who teaches strategy in a great European college, told Surgeon McGuire that he used this
     campaign as a model of strategy and tactics, dwelling upon it for several months in his lectures; that it
     was taught in the schools of Germany, and that Von Moltke, the great strategist, declared it was
     without a rival in the world's history.

After this brilliant service for the Confederacy Jackson joined Lee at Richmond in time to strike
     McClellan's flank at the battle of Cold Harbor, and to contribute to the Federal defeat in the Seven
     Days' battles around Richmond. In the campaign against Pope, undertaken by Lee after he had
     defeated McClellan, Jackson was sent on a movement suited to his genius, capturing Manassas
     Junction, and foiling Pope until the main battle of Second Manassas, August 30, 1862, under Lee,
     despoiled that Federal general of all his former honors. The Maryland campaign immediately followed,
     in which Jackson led in the capture of Harper's Ferry September 15th, taking 11,500 prisoners, and an
     immense amount of arms and stores, just  preceding the battle of Sharpsburg, in which he also fought
     with notable efficiency at a critical juncture. The promotion to lieutenant-general was now accorded him,
     October 10, 1862. At the battle of Fredericksburg, December 13, 1862, Lieutenant-General Jackson
     held the Confederate right against all Federal assaults. The Federal disaster in this battle resulted in
     the resignation of Burnside and the reorganization of the army under General Hooker in 1863.


  Little Sorrel (Jackson's horse)
After the most complete preparations Hooker advanced against Lee at Chancellorsville, who
     countervailed all the Federal general's plans by sending Jackson to find and crush his right flank, 
     which movement was in the process of brilliant accomplishment when Jackson, who had passed his 
  own lines to make a personal inspection of the situation, was fired upon and fatally wounded by a line of
     Confederates who unhappily mistook him and his escort for the enemy. The glory of the achievement
     which Lee and Jackson planned, fell upon General Stuart next day, who, succeeding Jackson in
     command, ordered that charge which became so ruinous to Hooker, with the thrilling watchword,
                                                                           "Remember Jackson."


  General Jackson lived a few days and died lamented more than any soldier who had fallen. Lee said: "I
     have lost my right arm." The army felt that his place could not be easily supplied. The South was
     weighted with grief. After the war, when the North dispassionately studied the man they ceased to
     wonder at the admiration in which he was held by the world. He was buried at Lexington, Va., where a
     monument erected by affection marks his grave. "For centuries men will come to Lexington as a
     Mecca, and to this grave as a shrine, and wonderingly talk of this man and his mighty deeds. Time will
                                          only add to his great fame--his name will be honored and revered forever."


                        Jackson believed "It's a man's entire duty to pray and fight." This might have                                 been the best philosophy during this tumultuous period for a General to adhere to.
 Thus his final word
"Let us cross over the river and rest
      beneath the shade of the tree"

The standard and highly recommended biography and suggested readings
Robertson, James I. Stonewall Jackson--the man, the soldier, the legend. New York : Macmillan Library Reference USA, 1997.
This book contains an excellent and comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

Selected resources published since 1950
Alexander, Bevin. Lost victories : the military genius of Stonewall Jackson. New York : Holt, 1992.
Casdorph, Paul D. Lee and Jackson : Confederate chieftains. New York : Paragon House, 1992.
Chambers, Lenoir, 1891-1970. Stonewall Jackson. New York : Morrow, c1959.
Clark, Champ. Decoying the yanks : Jackson's valley campaign. Alexandria, Va. : Time-Life Books, c1984.
Davis, Burke, 1913- They called him Stonewall; a life of Lt. General T. J. Jackson, C.S.A. New York, Rinehart [1954]
Farwell, Byron. Stonewall : a biography of General Thomas J. Jackson. New York : W.W. Norton, 1992
Gallagher, Gary W. (editor). Chancellorsville : the battle and its aftermath. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1996.
Krick, Robert K. Conquering the valley : Stonewall Jackson at Port Republic. New York : Morrow, 1996
Krick, Robert K. Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mountain. Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c1990.
Krick, Robert K. "The Smoothbore Volley that Doomed the Confederacy." An essay published in the book Chancellorsville, the Battle and Its Afermath, edited by Gary W. Gallagher. (The University of North Carolina Press, 1996). Krick includes an excellent bibliography.
O'Reilly, Frank A. The Fredericksburg Campaign : "Stonewall" Jackson at Fredericksburg : the Battle of Prospect Hill, December 13, 1862. Lynchburg, Va. : H.E. Howard, c1993.
Rankin, Thomas M. Stonewall Jackson's Romney Campaign, January 1-February 20, 1862. Lynchburg, Va. : H.E. Howard, c1994
Robertson, James I. The Stonewall Brigade. Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c1963, 1977 printing
Rozear, Marvin P. and Greenfield, Joseph C., Jr. "Let Us Cross Over The River": The Final Illness Of Stonewall Jackson. Virginia Magazine of History and Biography. 1995, vol. 103(no. 1): pp. 29-46.
Royster, Charles. The destructive war : William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, and the Americans. New York : Knopf : Random House [distributor], 1991
Schildt, John W. Stonewall Jackson day by day. Chewsville, Md. : Antietam Publications, [1980?]
Schildt, John W. Jackson and the preachers. Parsons, W. Va. : McClain Printing Co., 1982
Sears, Stephen W. Chancellorsville. Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996
Shaw, Maurice F. (Maurice Friedlander) Stonewall Jackson's surgeon Hunter Holmes McGuire : a biography. Lynchburg, VA : H.E. Howard, 1993.
Tanner, Robert G. Stonewall in the valley : Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson's Shenandoah Valley campaign, spring 1862. Mechanicsville, PA : Stackpole Books, c1996.
Vandiver, Frank Everson, 1925- Mighty Stonewall. New York, McGraw-Hill [1957]
Selected resources, 1863-1949
Many of these were written by family members or associates of Jackson and his family, and are of interest to those who wish to read contemporary accounts, rather than modern scholarship.

Allan, William, 1837-1889. History of the campaign of Gen. T.J. (Stonewall) Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. From November 4, 1861, to June 17, 1862. With full maps of the region and of the battle-fields by Jed. Hotchkiss. Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1880.
Arnold, Thomas Jackson. Early life and letters of General Thomas J. Jackson, "Stonewall Jackson," by his nephew, Thomas Jackson Arnold. New York, Chicago [etc.] Fleming H. Revell Company [c1916]
Bigelow, John, 1854-1936. The campaign of Chancellorsville, a strategic and tactical study. New Haven, Yale University Press, c1910]
Cook, Roy Bird, 1886-1961. The family and early life of Stonewall Jackson. Richmond, Va., Old Dominion Press, Inc., 1925.
Cooke, John Esten, 1830-1886. The life of Stonewall Jackson. From official papers, contemporary narratives, and personal acquaintance. By a Virginian ... Richmond, Ayres & Wade, 1863
Dabney, Robert Lewis, 1820-1898. Life and campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, (Stonewall Jackson). New York, Blelock & Co.; Richmond, Va., Philadelphia, Pa., National Publishing Co., 1866
Douglas, Henry Kyd, 1838-1903. I rode with Stonewall, being chiefly the war experiences of the youngest member of Jackson's staff from the John Brown raid to the hanging of Mrs. Surratt [by] Henry Kyd Douglas. Chapel Hill, The University of North Carolina Press [c1940]
Henderson, G. F. R. (George Francis Robert), 1854-1903. Stonewall Jackson and the American civil war, by Lieut. Col. G. F. R. Henderson. With an introduction by Field-Marshal the Right Hon. Viscount Wolseley. New York, London, Longmans, Green, 1905.
Jackson, Mary Anna, 1831-1915. Life and letters of General Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson) by his wife, Mary Anna Jackson, with an introduction by Henry M. Field ... New York, Harper, 1892 [c1891]
Jackson, Mary Anna, 1831-1915. Memoirs of Stonewall Jackson / by his widow, Mary Anna Jackson ; with introductions by Lieut.-Gen. John B. Gordon and Rev. Henry M. Fields ; and sketches by generals Fitzhugh Lee ... [et al.] Louisville, Ky. : The Prentice Press, c1895

      J.J. Oakley