Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson — Facts and APUSH Notes

January 21, 1824–May 10, 1863

APUSH Definition — Stonewall Jackson (1824–1863) was an officer in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He is known for his bold battlefield tactics and is recognized as one of the most renowned of all Confederate officers of the war.

Thomas Stonewall Jackson, Illustration

With the possible exception of Robert E. Lee, Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson was the most renowned of all Confederate commanders during and after the American Civil War. Image Source: Library of Congress.

What was Civil War General Stonewall Jackson?

When the Civil War began, Stonewall Jackson was an instructor at Virginia Military Institute. Like many Virginians, Jackson opposed secession until President Abraham Lincoln called upon state governors to raise troops to suppress the Southern rebellion. Still, Jackson answered Virginia’s call. On June 17, 1861, Jackson accepted a commission as a brigadier general in the provisional Confederate Army, and he was promoted to major general in the Confederate Army on October 7, 1861. On October 10, 1863, he was promoted to lieutenant general.

Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall” when his brigade stood its ground during the First Battle of Bull Run. During his storied career, Jackson led troops during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1862, the Peninsula Campaign, the Northern Virginia Campaign, and the Maryland Campaign. His performance at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, and the Battle of Fredericksburg is legendary in military annals and the history of the Civil War.

On the evening of May 2, 1863, during the Battle of Chancellorsville, Jackson rode out on a personal reconnaissance mission and traveled beyond his own lines. As he and his staff returned in the dark, Confederate soldiers mistakenly identified them as Union troops and fired on them. Jackson received three bullet wounds, none of which witnesses considered life-threatening. However, doctors were forced to amputate Jackson’s left arm and evacuate him to a local plantation. While he was there, he developed pneumonia and died on May 10, 1863. Officials took Jackson’s body to Richmond for public mourning before burying it at what is now Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, in Lexington, Virginia.

Battle of Chancellorsville, Last Meeting of Lee and Jackson, Painting
This illustration depicts Jackson and Lee meeting prior to the Battle of Chancellorsville. Image Source: Library of Congress.

Stonewall Jackson Facts for APUSH

Birth and Early Life

  • Full Name: His full name was Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
  • Parents: His parents were Jonathan and Julia Beckwith (Neale) Jackson.
  • Date of Birth: He was born on January 21, 1824.
  • Birthplace: He was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).

Family Tree

  • Spouse: He was married to Eleanor Junkin in 1853, and to Mary Anna Morrison in 1857.

Death

  • Death: He died on May 10, 1863.
  • Place of Death: He died in Guinea Station, Virginia.
  • Burial: He is buried at Oak Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Virginia.

Education

He attended the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1846.

Career

He worked as a military officer and a professor.

Career Summary

He was a VMI professor and a Major (USA), and a Lieutenant General (CSA).

Nickname

He was known as “Stonewall”.

Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson — Summary of His Life and Accomplishments for APUSH

  • Thomas Jackson’s parents were Jonathon Jackson (1790-1826) and Julia Beckwith Neale (1798-1831).
  • Thomas Jackson’s father died of typhoid fever in March 1826.
  • Thomas Jackson was orphaned when his mother died on December 4, 1831.
  • Thomas Jackson spent most of his childhood living with his uncle, Cummins Jackson.
  • Thomas Jackson attended the United States Military Academy and graduated in 1846, 17th in his class of 59.
  • Thomas Jackson served with distinction during the Mexican War, earning promotions up to the rank of major.
  • Thomas Following a religious awakening in Mexico, Jackson became a pious Presbyterian for the remainder of his life neither drinking nor smoking.
  • Thomas Jackson was a professor at the Virginia Military Institute from August 13, 1851, to 1861.
  • Thomas Jackson married Eleanor Junkin (1825-1854) on August 4, 1853.
  • Thomas Jackson’s first wife died in childbirth on October 22, 1854.
  • Thomas Jackson married Mary Anna Morrison (1831-1915) on July 16, 1857.
  • Thomas When Virginia seceded from the Union (April 17, 1861), Governor John Letcher ordered Jackson and his VMI cadets to Richmond on April 21, 1861, to serve as drillmasters for new army recruits.
  • On April 27, 1861, Virginia Governor John Letcher ordered Jackson to take command at Harpers Ferry, where he organized the troops that would soon comprise the famous “Stonewall Brigade.”
  • Thomas Jackson earned the nickname “Stonewall” when his brigade stoutly withstood a Union assault during the First Battle of Bull Run.
  • Thomas Jackson was promoted to brigadier general on June 17, 1861.
  • Thomas Jackson was promoted to major general on October 7, 1861.
  • Thomas Jackson was promoted to lieutenant general on October 10, 1862.
  • During the spring of 1862, Thomas Jackson conducted his famous Shenandoah Valley Campaign, where he successfully engaged three Union armies, preventing them from reinforcing the Union offensive against the Confederate capitol, Richmond.
  • Thomas Jackson’s leadership abilities were instrumental in Confederate successes at the Seven Days’ Battle, the Second Battle of Bull Run, the Battle of Antietam, the Battle of Fredericksburg, and the Battle of Chancellorsville.
  • At the battle at Chancellorsville (May 2-4, 1863), Thomas Jackson was wounded by his own soldiers on May 2, 1863. His left arm was amputated and he died a week later, of pneumonia.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson — Facts and APUSH Notes
  • Date January 21, 1824–May 10, 1863
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 20, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update January 12, 2024

Taxonomies