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Gen.“stonewall” Jackson

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Gen.“stonewall” Jackson

The South had many advantages when the Civil War broke out. They were fighting was fighting a defensive war while the Union Army had to invade the vast area of the Confederacy. The South did not even have to win in order to be independent. All the South had to do was fight the invaders to a draw and keep it that way. They were fighting for the preservation of their way of life and they enjoyed an advantage in morale. They also had the most talented officers. The most notable of the first-rate commanders was Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who was asked by Lincoln to command the Northern armies declined because he was from the South. General Lee’s foremost lieutenant general was Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.

General “Stonewall” Jackson was born on January 24, 1824 and grew up in West Virginia. Both his parents died before he turned eight and was sent to live with his uncle. In 1842, he got into West Point and graduated in 1846. He served in the Mexican war and that was where he first met Robert E. Lee. When the Civil War broke, he quickly rose to prominence. At the First Battle of Bull Run, he was dubbed “Stonewall.” He was given command in the Shenandoah Valley and devastated the Union forces, with about 17,000 troops, he managed to defeat 60,000 Union troops with lightning attacks. He was already showing his great military skill that would help the Confederacy.

After the campaign in the Shenandoah Valley ended, Jackson and his troops were called to the defense of Richmond, Virginia. By utilizing a railroad tunnel under the Blue Ridge Mountains and then transporting troops to Hanover County on the Virginia Central Railroad, Jackson and his forces made a surprise appearance in front of McClellan at Mechanicsville, showing that he was a master of deception that made him such a great leader. Famous military strategist, Sun Tsu wrote "All warfare is based on deception."# This related well to Jackson's understanding to the importance of secrecy and deception. He sometimes purposely took zig-zag route to fool his own men and he was so secretive that even his Major Generals did not know his plan. He hardly lost any battles.

Jackson's troops held off an Union assault at the Battle of Fredericksburg. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Jackson's forces flanked the Union army. As Jackson and his staff were returning to camp on May 2, they were mistaken for a Union cavalry force by their own troops and fired upon. Jackson was hit by three bullets, his left arm had to be amputated and he died on May 10 of pneumonia.

Upon hearing of Jackson's death, Robert E. Lee mourned the loss

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