The Life of Stonewall Jackson relates key events in the life of the Civil-War hero from his impoverished childhood, to his education at West Point, auspicious debut in the Mexican-American war, and later professorship at the Virginia Military Institute. The biography also provides a detailed look at the events and battles that allowed the “great faculties of his soul” to bloom before his tragic death on the field of battle in 1863.
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Offered a commission in the Union army by President Lincoln in 1861, the distinguished career officer and combat engineer opted instead to follow his home state of Virginia out of the Union. Lee quickly developed a reputation as a gifted battlefield tactician, defeating larger Northern forces again and again, although this talent was not enough to overcome the industrial and financial strengths of the North. Today, Lee is a much admired military figure and continues to be as revered in the North as he was in the South.
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“Stonewall” Jackson is considered by military authorities to have been an outstanding leader, skilled tactician and one of the ablest of the Confederate commanders. He earned his popular nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (1861), where his troops stood against the Union forces “like a stone wall”.
John Esten Cooke examines Jackson’s life from birth, through his career at West Point, as well as his exploits during the Civil war. He describes how the so-called “Stonewall Brigade”, combined with troops led by Robert E. Lee, defeated Gen. George B. McClellan and three Union armies at the Battle of Richmond. He examines how Jackson defeated General John Pope, ensuring a Confederate victory at the Second Battle of Bull Run, on to the battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, where, in a tragic accident, he was shot and fatally wounded by friendly fire.
Cooke, a Virginian, tells the fascinating story of Stonewall Jackson, the enigmatic American icon.