Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson Essay

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Famed Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s legacy is hardly easy to define. His is most remembered for cunning speed and brutality in battle and many consider him without equal. The same strategies Jackson used in the Shenandoah Valley campaign were scrutinized by both Rommel and Patton for inspiration in WWII. Jackson’s personal discipline carried over into his command. Although his men were often barefoot and near starvation, he pushed them forward into battle, not wishing to sacrifice the element of surprise. Many of his battles were actually waged on Sundays which contradicts Jackson’s steadfast devotion to Christianity that many attribute to fanaticism.
As a Virginian, however, he felt more loyal to his state
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After West Point, Jackson served in the Mexican American War where he would meet his friend and future commander, General Robert E. Lee. When the war ended, he bounced from Fort Hamilton in New York and Fort Meade in Florida. Eventually, though, he resigned his commission to accept a teaching position at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia in 1851. During this time, he married and lost a wife in childbirth and remarried again. If not for the onset of the Civil War, he may have remained at VMI and most likely faded into obscurity. Jackson’s first duty as an officer in the Confederate States of America came from President Jefferson Davis who ordered him to organize Harper’s Ferry, the infamous site of John Brown’s bloody raid in 1859. When Jackson arrived, he was taken aback by the disorganization and drunkenness of the troops and immediately determined to reestablish order. Jackson accomplished this task in less than a week and gained approval from General Robert E. Lee. Jackson continued to establish order but was relieved of his command when Jefferson Davis decided to replace him with Joseph E. Johnston because he felt Johnston held more stature and military experience. Later, this would prove a mistake since the South was unable to hold Harper’s Ferry from the Union. Harper Ferry’s loss of Jackson proved the battlefield’s gain. Jackson’s skill
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