named Thomas Jonathan Jackson
It was a rugged, honest name, but is no cause of regret that it is now merged in the more rugged and euphonious one he afterward made for himself.
No comet was seen at his birth, and there is little record of his boyhood, except that he was left an orphan when he was three years old, and, being penniless, had a hard time of it in his youth.
But his father had been a lawyer, and he was taken care of by some of his relatives.
At sixteen, he was appointed a constable, and two years afterward entered West Point
as a cadet.
He graduated in 1846, went to Mexico
, and served as lieutenant in the battery of Magruder-“Prince John” --who afterward served under Jackson
was twice breveted for gallantry, and returned from Mexico
, at the age of twenty-four, with an-enviable reputation and the rank of major.
He served a while in Florida
, but his health gave way, and he was compelled to quit the army.
In 1851 he was appointed Professor
in the Virginia Military Institute, at Lexington
He there married a daughter of Rev. George Junkin, D. D.
, who was President
of what is now Washington and Lee University. Dr. Junkin
was an earnest Union man, and, at the breaking out of the war, resigned his position, and went back to Pennsylvania
; but it is said the loyalty of the old gentleman was not proof against the pride he felt in his famous son-in-law.
's wife soon died.
He then married a daughter of Rev. Dr. Morrison
, another Presbyterian clergyman, of Charlotte, North Carolina
She now lives in Charlotte
, with her only child, Julia
, who was not six months old when her father died at Chancellorsville
In 1857 Major Jackson
went to Europe
While in France
, he rode on horseback, with some French officers, over the field of Waterloo
It is said he seemed perfectly familiar with the topography of the ground and the maneuvres of the two armies, and sharply criticised one of the Emperor
's movements, by saying, “There's where Napoleon
Such presumption was unheard of since the time the young Corsican
, in Italy
, criticised the venerable Wurmser
But what seemed effrontery in Bonaparte
was genius in Napoleon
, and the name of Stonewall will save his criticism.
After his return from Europe
led a quiet and unobtrusive life at Lexington
, less known than any other professor.
His delicate health forbid much social enjoyment.
I met him there in 1860, and once said to a classmate in the law school, who had been at the Institute
It seems to me, Terrill, I'd like to know Major Jackson better; there is something about him I can't make out.