's very soul impressed itself on the glass of this early negative through his striking features—more clearly read than later, when a heavy beard had covered the resolute lips, and the habit of command had veiled the deep-seeing, somber eyes.
When the quiet Virginia
boy with the strong religious bent graduated eighteenth in his class of seventy from West Point
in 1846, his comrades little thought that he was destined to become the most suddenly famous of American generals.
The year after his graduation he attracted attention by his performances as lieutenant of artillery under General Scott
, and was brevetted captain and major for bravery at Contreras
, and Chapultepec
Fourteen years later he earned his sobriquet of ‘Stonewall
’ in the first great battle of the Civil War
. Within two years more he had risen to international fame—and received his mortal wound on the field of battle.
He was reserved, almost somber with his men, yet he earned the love and enthusiastic devotion of the soldiers who came to be known as ‘Jackson
's foot cavalry,’ so unparalleled were the marches they made under his leadership.
They came to trust his judgment as infallible, and in spite of overwhelming odds they followed no matter where he led.