Stonewall Jackson

Stonewall Jackson


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Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-63) was one of the South’s most successful generals during the American Civil War (1861-65). After a difficult childhood, he graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, in time to fight in the Mexican War (1846-48). He then left the military to pursue a teaching career. After his home state of Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Jackson joined the Confederate army and quickly forged his reputation for fearlessness and tenacity during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign later that same year. He served under General Robert E. Lee (1807-70) for much of the Civil War. Jackson was a decisive factor in many significant battles until his mortal wounding by friendly fire at the age of 39 during the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863.

Stonewall Jackson’s Early Years

Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). When Jackson was two years old, his six-year-old sister died of typhoid fever. His father, Jonathan Jackson (1790-1826), an attorney, perished of the same disease a short time later, leaving his wife, Julia Neale Jackson (1798-1831), with three children and considerable debt. After Julia Jackson remarried in 1830, to a man who reportedly disliked his stepchildren, Thomas Jackson and his siblings were sent to live with various relatives. The future Civil War general was raised by an uncle in the town of Jackson’s Mill, located in present-day West Virginia.

In 1842, Jackson enrolled at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Older than many of the other students, he initially struggled with the curriculum and endured frequent ridicule for his modest background and relatively poor education. However, Jackson worked hard and eventually met with academic success, graduating in 1846.

Jackson left West Point just as the Mexican War was starting and he was sent to Mexico as a lieutenant with the 1st U.S. Artillery. He quickly earned a reputation for toughness and bravery, and by the war’s end in 1848 he held the rank of brevet major. Jackson continued his military service until he accepted a professorship at the Virginia Military Institute in 1851.

Stonewall Jackson’s Civilian Life

Jackson spent 10 years as a professor of artillery tactics and natural philosophy (similar to modern-day physics) at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. He was better at teaching artillery than natural philosophy, and was disliked by some cadets for his brusqueness, lack of sympathy and eccentric behavior. Students mocked him for his hypochondria and his habit of keeping one arm elevated to hide a perceived discrepancy in the length of his limbs.

In 1853, Jackson married Elinor Junkin (1825-54), the daughter of a Presbyterian minister who was the president of Washington College. She died in childbirth 14 months later; in 1857, Jackson married Mary Anna Morrison (1831-1915), the daughter of a former president of Davidson College. The following year, the couple had a daughter; however, the child lived for only a month. Jackson’s one surviving daughter, Julia Laura (1862-89), was born less than a year before her father’s death.

Jackson’s final years in the Lexington community earned him a reputation as an honest and dutiful man of devout faith. He did not drink, gamble or smoke. When Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861, Jackson accepted a commission as a colonel in the Confederate army and went off to war, never to return to Lexington alive.

Jackson Earns His Name

During the first wave of secession from December 1860 through February 1861, during which time seven Southern states declared their independence from the U.S., Jackson hope that his home state of Virginia would remain in the Union. However, when Virginia seceded in April 1861, he supported the Confederacy, showing his loyalty to his state over the federal government.

Jackson served only briefly as a colonel before receiving a promotion to brigadier general under General Joseph E. Johnston (1807-91). Jackson earned his nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (also known as Manassas) in July 1861 when he rushed his troops forward to close a gap in the line against a determined Union attack. Upon observing Jackson, one of his fellow generals reportedly said, “Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall!”–a comment that spawned Jackson’s nickname. Jackson was commissioned a major general in October 1861.

Stonewall Jackson’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign

In the spring of 1862, Jackson spearheaded the Shenandoah Valley Campaign, firmly establishing himself as a strong and independent commander. The Confederate army’s high command had charged him with the task of defending western Virginia from an invasion by Union troops. With an army of some 15,000 to 18,000 troops, Jackson repeatedly outmaneuvered a superior Union force of more than 60,000 men. Jackson’s army moved so quickly during the campaign that they dubbed themselves “foot cavalry.” President Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) had split the Union army into three parts, and Jackson used his mobility to attack and confuse the divided forces over the course of the campaign. He won several key victories over armies of larger size. By the campaign’s end in June, he had earned the admiration of Union generals. Jackson had prevented the Northerners from taking the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, and had done so in the face of unfavorable odds.

Jackson’s Partnership with Lee

Jackson joined Lee’s army in June 1862, and Lee was determined to keep him in the thick of the fighting in Virginia. Chosen for his tactical prowess and bravery, Jackson did not disappoint. From August 1862 until May 1863, he and his troops played key roles at the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Chancellorsville.

By October 1862, Jackson was a lieutenant general and led a significant portion of Lee’s army. His widely publicized exploits had elevated him to legendary status among Southern soldiers and citizens alike. Jackson’s bravery and success inspired devotion from his soldiers, but to his officers, he was known as overly secretive and difficult to please. He frequently punished his officers for relatively minor violations of military discipline and rarely discussed his plans with them. Rather, they were expected to obey his orders without question.

The Battle of Chancellorsville and Jackson’s Death

Lee and Jackson’s most famous victory took place near a crossroads at the Battle of Chancellorsville in Virginia in May 1863. Facing a numerically superior Union force of 130,000 men to 60,000 of their own, Lee and Jackson devised and executed a plan to rout the army of Union General Joseph Hooker (1814-79).

Historians call this battle one of Lee’s finest moments as a Confederate general, and his success owed much to Jackson’s participation. On May 2, Jackson stealthily and quickly took 28,000 troops on an approximately 15-mile forced march to Hooker’s exposed flank while Lee engaged in diversionary attacks on his front. Jackson’s attack on the Union rear inflicted massive casualties on the superior force, and Hooker was forced to withdraw only days later.

But the victory was not without cost. Jackson’s brutal attack ended at sunset, and he took some men into the forest to scout ahead. A North Carolina regiment mistook them for enemy cavalry and opened fire, severely wounding Jackson. He was taken from the field and General J. E. B. Stuart (1833-64) took over his command. Doctors determined that a bullet had shattered the bone just below his left shoulder, and they quickly amputated Jackson’s left arm. He was transferred to a field hospital at a nearby plantation to recover. Lee dispatched a letter, writing, “Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead.” Jackson initially appeared to be healing, but he died from pneumonia on May 10, 1863, at the age of 39. Southerners mourned his death, while Lee faced fighting the war without a highly valued general and comrade. Jackson was buried in Lexington, Virginia.


Stonewall Jackson History

Stonewall Jackson was born Thomas Jonathan on 21st January 1824. His birth took place in the city of Clarksburg in modern-day West Virginia. When young Thomas was just 2 years old, his father passed away. His mother was left handling debts and no money. To support her 3 children, Mrs. Jackson began taking orders to sew and also teach. However, she was forced to sell her home and property due to shortage of money. And, then after 4 years, Mrs. Jackson got married again and the family relocated to another county.

Stonewall Jackson’s stepfather was not very fond of the Jackson children, so when their mother fell ill, the children were sent to live with some relatives until the mother recovered. Unfortunately, Jackson’s mother did not recover and passed away. Thereafter, the orphaned Jackson children were sent to live with their uncle to live in a farm. Jackson was 7 years old at that time. However, Jackson loved his uncle and enjoyed staying in the farm.

At the age of 18, Jackson gained entry into the prestigious West Point Military Academy located in New York. However, since Jackson had just 3 years of formal education, he did not perform well and was last in his class in the first year. However, with each passing year, Jackson improved his grades and went on to graduate in the year 1846. He was attached to an artillery unit and immediately he saw his first action at the Mexican War.

During the war, Jackson kept his cool and did not worry about the hailing bullets. The unit was suppose to march toward Mexico City, but encountered fierce fighting at a fortress called Chapultepec. The fortress was situated on top of a hill and guarded the route to Mexico City. Very soon the American soldiers were at the mercy of the Mexican soldiers, who had an advantage of being on top of the hill. As the unit began retreating, one officer stood out. This officer was Thomas Jackson. He rallied his soldiers to hold their ground and return fire. Jackson held on until reinforcements arrived and this allowed the Americans to take over Mexico City. Immediately, stories about Jackson’s heroics began spreading in the US army and for his bravery, Jackson was promoted 3 times.

Thereafter, Jackson returned to the US and spent time in New York and Florida. However, he got tired of not seeing any action, so took up a teaching job at the Virginia Military Institute located in Lexington. He also invested his money in a tannery to become a partner. During his time at Lexington, Jackson used to attend services at the Lexington Presbyterian Church, and was also one of the founding members of the Rockbridge Bible Society.

It was at the church that Jackson met Elinor Junkin, who he would marry on 4th August 1853. However, this marriage did not last long, as Elinor passed away during childbirth after the couple celebrated their 1st wedding anniversary. Jackson grieved for his wife for 2 years, spending time in Europe, but on return, he started wooing Mary Anna Morrison. The couple got married in the year 1857. Their first child, a daughter, died as an infant. The couple was extremely happy and even had their own home.

However, on 21st April 1861 Virginia announced that it seceding. This was the end of peace time and Jackson had to return to Lexington to take his cadets to Richmond.

It was during the Battle of Bull Run, also known as the Battle of Manassas, that Jackson was given his nickname, Stonewall. It is claimed that General Bernard Bee claimed that Jackson was standing like a stone wall against the Union army onslaught. Thereafter, the name stuck on and he was referred to as Stonewall Jackson, and the brigade that he commanded was known as Stonewall Brigade.

Jackson helped the Confederates to win several battles. In one of the many battles that he fought, he ended up losing his life. This was the Battle of Chancellorsville that was fought close to Fredericksburg in Virginia. The Confederate army was winning the battle against the Union army, but poor Jackson was shot at by his own army when his soldiers mistook him for Union army cavalry. He got short in the left arm, which had to be amputated. The shooting occurred on 2nd May 1863 and on 10th May 1863 Stonewall Jackson died from pneumonia. He was buried in Lexington.

Thomas Jackson, popular known as Stonewall Jackson, got his nickname during the Battle of Bull Run when the Confederates were fighting the Union forces. Initially, the Confederates were routed by the Union army, but brigade held its ground. This brigade was commanded by Thomas Jackson. More..


Signing Up for a War He Did Not Want

As war loomed in 1861, Jackson opposed both secession and the violence it would trigger. As a loyal Virginian, he agreed to serve the Confederacy. Initially sent to Richmond to train soldiers, he was made a colonel and given an active command. He led a brigade of Virginians who would become known as the Stonewall Brigade.

By Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau – CC BY-SA 3.0


History

Thomas Jonathan Jackson lived in Lexington from 1851-1861, while he was a professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and an instructor of artillery tactics at Virginia Military Institute.

During that decade Jackson joined the Lexington Presbyterian Church, married, bought the only home he ever owned, and lived quietly as a private citizen. Jackson was born in western Virginia (now West Virginia) to Julia Neal Jackson and Jonathan Jackson on January 21, 1824. Thomas was orphaned at a young age his father died when Thomas was two, and his mother when he was seven. Jackson was raised by extended members of his father’s family, mainly his uncle, Cummins Jackson. As a young adult, he was employed as a constable (debt collector) and a teacher before he was appointed to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York.

Jackson graduated from West Point, served in the U.S. Army, fought in the Mexican War, and was later stationed in New York and in Florida before he was appointed Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at Virginia Military Institute. He moved to Lexington and settled into life as a civilian, eventually marrying Elinor Junkin in 1853. Ellie died in October 1854, as a result of childbirth. The baby, a boy, was stillborn.

Taking time to grieve, Jackson turned to his faith for help. In 1857 he courted and then married Mary Anna Morrison. Jackson and Anna, as she was called, purchased their home on Washington Street in 1858. The two settled in and made a home for themselves. Jackson enjoyed caring for his own home and cultivating the kitchen garden located behind the house.

In April 1861, Jackson rode off to war. Following the first battle of Manassas, Jackson became widely known by the nickname "Stonewall." Jackson earned lasting fame for his leadership of Confederate forces, especially during the Valley Campaign of 1862. "Stonewall" Jackson died on May 10, 1863, as a result of complications from wounds received at Chancellorsville along with pneumonia. His body was brought back to Lexington for burial in the cemetery on the south edge of town.

“Lexington is the most beautiful place that I remember of having ever seen when taken in connection with the surrounding country."


Jackson Family Genealogy

Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson married twice. His first wife was Elinor Junkin (1824-1854), who died shortly after giving birth to a stillborn son in 1854. His second wife, Mary Anna Morrison (1831-1915), was the mother of Mary Graham (died shortly after birth in 1858) and Julia Laura (1862-1889), the only Jackson child to reach adulthood. Julia married William Edmund Christian (1856-1936) they had two children - Julia Jackson Christian (1887-1991) and Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian (1888-1952).

Ancestors

Great-grandparents

Stonewall Jackson was descended from John Jackson (born ca. 1716 in Ireland moved to London age 10 d. 1801) and Elizabeth Cummins (b. ca. 1719, London, England d. 1825). Both were convicted of theft in 1749 in London's Old Bailey court, and were sentenced to seven-year indentures "to some of his Majesty's colonies and Plantations in America." The couple met on board the prison ship Litchfield which departed London in May 1749, and originally settled in Maryland. Both were able to complete their indentures early and they married in 1755. Shortly after the birth of their first child they left Maryland to become pioneers in the area that is now northwestern West Virginia. They are buried at Jackson Cemetery, E. Pike St., Clarksburg, WV. For more information see Chapter one of the notable biography Stonewall Jackson: the Man, the Soldier, the Legend by James I. Robertson, Jr.

Grandparents

Col. Edward Jackson, Stonewall Jackson's grandfather, was one of 8 children of John Jackson and Elizabeth Cummins. He was born 01 March 1759 in Near Moorefield, Hampshire (now Hardy) Co., WV, and died 25 December 1828 in Jackson's Mill, Lewis Co.,WV. He married (1st) Mary Haddan (Stonewall Jackson's grandmother) 13 October 1783 they had 6 children. Mary Haddan was born 15 May 1764 in [possibly] New Jersey, and died 17 April 1796 in Near Buckhannon, WVA. Edward married (2nd) Elizabeth Weatherholt Brake 13 October 1799 they had 9 children. Elizabeth Brake was born 11 January 1778 in prob. Hardy Co., WV, and died 19 August 1835 in Jackson's Mill, Lewis Co.,WV.

Stonewall Jackson's parents were Jonathan Jackson and Judith "Julia" Beckwith Neale. Jonathan, the son of Edward and his first wife Mary Haddan, was born 25 September 1790 in Randolph County, WV, and died 26 March 1826 in Clarksburg, Harrison Co., WV. He married Judith "Julia" Beckwith Neale ( born 28 February 1798 near Aldie, Loudoun Co., VA) on 28 September 1817. Jonathan and Julia had four children: Elizabeth, Warren, Thomas (Stonewall) and Laura Ann. After Jonathan died in 1826, Julia married Blake Woodson, by whom she had one son, Wirt. (Stonewall Jackson's half brother). Julia died 03 December 1831 in Fayette Co., West Virginia.

Siblings

Jackson was devoted to his younger sister, Laura Ann Jackson Arnold (1826-1911). The other Jackson siblings, Elizabeth (1819-1826) and Warren (1821-1841), died young. Jackson also had a half-brother, William Wirt Woodson (1831-1875), through his mother's second marriage (in 1830) to Blake Baker Woodson (1783-1833). Thomas and Laura shared the memories of a difficult childhood and corresponded frequently in the years after Thomas left home to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. This close relationship was destroyed during the Civil War. While her brother Thomas emerged as a brilliant Confederate military leader, Laura remained an outspoken Unionist, and she ultimately became estranged from both her brother and other members of the Jackson family. During much the war, her hometown of Beverly, WV was occupied by Federal troops Laura cared for Union sick and wounded in her home. Her Union sympathies were a topic of conversation among her contemporaries. In a May 1863 letter to his wife, in which he discusses the fighting near Beverly, Mortimer Johnson reports "Mrs. J. Arnold--sister of Gen. Jackson--went off with the Yankees. Arnold stayed at home says he is a good southern man, that his wife is crazy but Hell he says, could not govern a Jackson.


“Tom Fool” Jackson becomes Stonewall Jackson

Jackson who was a hypochondriac in peace (driven by intestinal trouble that once caused him to remark that “if a man could be driven to suicide by any cause, it might be from dyspepsia”) was a veritable titan in war. At First Manassas when General Bernard Bee rode by exclaiming, “They are beating us back! They are beating us back!” Jackson calmly replied, “Then, sir, we will give them the bayonet.” He was similarly unruffled when a bullet struck a finger on his left hand. Bee used Jackson’s example to reform his men: “Look, men, there stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally ’round the Virginians.”
At the battle’s height, as Stonewall’s men braced for a Union charge, a Confederate officer rode up to Jackson and said: “General the day is going against us.”

“If you think so, sir, you had better not say anything about it.”

He counseled his own men: “Reserve your fire till they come within fifty yards, then fire and give them the bayonet. When you charge, yell like furies.” Stonewall Jackson’s men helped turn the tide. As the Federals broke and ran, Stonewall Jackson said: “Give me ten thousand men and I will be in Washington tomorrow morning.󈭨 Had they been, Stonewall Jackson might now be remembered as the founder of his country.

As it was, he deepened his men’s confidence that he was a cool-headed general who knew how to smite the enemy. With victory won, Stonewall Jackson turned to another important matter that had been preying on his conscience. He sat down and wrote a letter to the Reverend William S. White: “In my tent last night, after a fatiguing day’s service, I remembered that I had failed to send you my contribution to our colored Sunday School. Enclosed you will find my check for that object, which please acknowledge at your earliest convenience, and oblige. Yours faithfully, T. J. Jackson.”‘


Stonewall Jackson Was Weird

Effective military leaders are often a little cooky or strange it comes with the territory. During the American Civil War, there were many generals on both sides of the conflict that fit that bill, but none were as strange or odd as Confederate General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson.
Jackson was born in present-day West Virginia, near the town of Clarksburg in 1824. Extremely poor, Jackson was orphaned early in life, and his stepfather sent him away to live with family.

Jackson rose from the poverty and gained acceptance to the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York where he proved himself to be an unprepared student. For just a simple country kid from the backwoods of Virginia, the curriculum was a constant challenge to Jackson, but he showed grit and determination to rise from the bottom of his class and eventually graduate with decent grades.

After graduating, Jackson moved to the Virginia Military Institute to teach artillery. Jackson was that teacher that all students hate, he did nothing but talk, and talk, and talk throughout the entire class. And it wasn’t like his talks were entertaining stories of some kind, he repeated the textbook almost verbatim and expected the students to hang on every single word he said, it was brutal. The student detested Jackson, and so did his fellow teachers. It was while he was a teacher at VMI that his odd social and personal habits began to take shape, and it turned many people away from spending time with him.

Jackson was a religious zealot there is no other way to put it. It’s not like Jackson was merely a believer in God, he saw everything, and I mean everything, as an act of God. Every conversation, every situation, every little event in life, Jackson had to bring God into it, and it made many people extremely uncomfortable even to hold a conversation with him. Jackson was like those people that pound on your door in the middle of dinner and want to tell you about a religious experience they had while cat-sitting for their mother in law and they saw the face of the Lord and Savior in a saucer of milk, it was just tiresome.

When the Southern States seceded from the Union in 1861, Jackson immediately raised a regiment of fighters from his students at VMI and led them into the army. At the First Battle of Bull Run in July of 1861, Jackson held an essential hill with his men and fought off the Union men attacking, earning him the nickname “Stonewall.” As time moved on during the war, he received multiple promotions and eventually led his army. His men noticed just how odd their commander was, during a battle he would continuously suck on lemons, and he rode into conflict with one arm in the air. When Jackson was asked why he rode with one arm in the air, he explained that his blood was out of balance and he had to shift it to the other sides of his body. Think about the utter insanity in that statement for a moment this guy thought ht was like an hourglass or one of those sand timers used in board games.

Through all of his quirks, Jackson was successful and was one of the most feared generals of the entire war. In 1863, he and Robert E. Lee had just defeated the Union Army at a place called Chancellorsville, Virginia. After the battle, Jackson rode into the woods to scout and was fired upon by his men. Jackson’s arm was nearly severed in the accidental attack, and it was later amputated at a field hospital. True to Jackson’s personality, his arm was buried in the backyard of the hospital with full military honors. The rest of Jackson laid in bed for a week before dying from complications of the wounds received. Indeed the weirdest and most successful southern General, Stonewall Jackson died leaving a legacy of battlefield quirkiness, and battlefield brilliance all rolled into one package.


A Camp of Stonewall Jackson's

Madison County, VA
Marker No. JE-15

Marker Text: Just to the north, on the night of November 25, 1862, Stonewall Jackson, with his corps, camped. He was on his way to join Lee at Fredericksburg.

Location:  On Route 670 (Old Blue Ridge Turnpike) just south of County Route 649 (Quaker Run Road), one mile north of Criglersville, VA. Erected by the Conservation & Development Commission in 1930.

“Near the top, as we were marching, there was a rock, and looking back and down the road, we could see six lines of our army in one place infantry, in another artillery, in another ambulances and wagons. Some seemed to be coming towards us, some going to the right, some to the left, and some going away from us. They were all, however, climbing the winding mountain road, and following us.” - quote by Private John H. Worsham of the 21st Virginia Infantry who later wrote of the armies crossing through Fisher's Gap.

Photo taken looking north on Route 670. Mountain that Jackson’s army traveled over is in the background to the right.  Click any photo to enlarge.

  Throughout Virginia, a person will discover almost countless numbers of historical markers related in some way to Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. Many of the markers relate to U.S. Civil War engagements and battles which he and his troops participated. Some markers, like today, simply mention that his army camped at a particular location exactly 150 years ago, while others may simply indicate that his army crossed the road.

  Stonewall Jackson's army had crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains, several times during the Civil War from the Shenandoah Valley to the Piedmont region of Virginia. Crossing the Blue Ridge Mountains, even using the variety of gaps that existed was not easy for an individual, but to do it with a whole army of 25,000 troops and equipment must have been an amazing accomplishment.

Photo is the field across the road from the marker in the area Jackson’s men would have camped on their way to Fredericksburg.

  In November, 1862, following the Battle at Antietam, Stonewall Jackson moved his 25,000 troops south of Winchester, VA. Jackson anticipated that his army would probably be needed to defend Richmond, but he wanted the Union forces in the Shenandoah Valley to believe his army was staying to defend the Valley rather than leaving for Richmond. During this time Jackson was given command of the newly organized Second Corps with more than 32,000 troops. Jackson had his army move south along the Shenandoah Valley until they got to New Market and then the army turned east and came through the deep notch in the first mountain range called Massanutten Mountain through the New Market Gap. They followed the course of the Gordonsville-New Market Turnpike, (or the old Blue Ridge Turnpike) which crossed the Shenandoah Valley through Page County, VA, until it came to the present town of Stanley where they would need to cross the second range of Blue Ridge Mountains.

Sign about Jackson at the Fisher’s Gap Overlook on the Skyline Drive near the road where Jackson’s army crossed the present day Skyline Drive.  A higher resolution photo of the sign can be found at the Historical Markers Database.

  On November 24, 1862, Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson moved through Page County toward Fisher’s Gap to rejoin the main body of the Army of Northern Virginia, on their way to Fredericksburg to encounter Union Gen. Burnside. Crossing the South Fork of the Shenandoah River at Columbia Bridge, the long columns of gray uniforms of the Confederate Second Corp took nearly four days to move along the old New Market-Gordonsville Turnpike) before exiting the Page County Valley. Some sources state the troops drank Apple Jack brandy and sang corn husking songs while they marched. It was customary in Jackson's Corps for the men to halt for a ten minute rest after marching for two miles.

A second sign about Jackson at the Fisher’s Gap Overlook (elevation 3140 feet) on the Skyline Drive. A higher resolution photo and view into the valley from the overlook can be found at the Historical Markers Database.

  Jackson and his men crossed the Blue Ridge mountains at a point north of Big Meadows on the present day Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. On the Fisher's Gap Overlook there are two signs indicating where Jackson's men crossed the mountain.  My wife and I have hiked the Rose River Trail Fire Road (The remnants of the old Gordonsville-New Market Turnpike survive today as the Rose River (eastside) and Redgate (westside) fire roads within the park.) that would have been used by Jackson's army. The roads are quite rustic even today and I can't begin to imagine how an army of several thousand troops with cannons and other equipment could have managed this crossing, from Stanley, VA to Syria, VA which is near the location of this marker where Jackson's camp was located.  For a photo of the Rose River Fire Road which was part of the Gordonsville-New Market Turnpike.

  Some sources state that once Stonewall Jackson reached the top of the Blue Ridge Mountain at Fisher's Gap, he looked back upon his troops and his beloved Valley that he had defended without knowing it would be the last time. Less than six months later, Jackson would be accidently mortally wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville and die several days later from complications.


Watch the video: Stone Wall Jackson