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When he became famous.

But it was on the plains of first Manassas, July 21, 1861, that he first became famous.

General McDowell had ably and skilfully outgeneraled Beauregard, and crossing the upped fords of Bull Run, had moved down on the Confederate flank, driving before him the small Confederate force stationed there.

General Bee, in the agony of being driven back, galloped up to Jackson, who, in command of a Virginia brigade, was stationed on the Henry House hill, and exclaimed: ‘General, they are beating us back!’

Jackson's eyes glittered beneath the rim of his old cadet cap. as he almost fiercely replied: ‘Sir, we will not be beaten back. We will give them the bayonet.’

Bee rushed to his own decimated ranks and rallied them by exclaiming: ‘Look! there stands Jackson like a stone wall! Rally on the Virginians! Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer!’

Jackson not only stood the shock of the heavy attack made [81] on him, but did ‘give them the bayonet,’ checked the onward tide of McDowell's victory, and held his position until Kirby Smith and Early came up on the flank. ‘JebStuart made a successful cavalry charge, Johnston and Beauregard had time to hurry up other troops, and a great Confederate victory was snatched from impending disaster.

The name which the gallant Bee, about to yield up his noble life, gave Jackson that day, clung to him ever afterwards, and he will be known in history not by the name Thomas Jonathan Jackson, which his parents gave him, but as ‘StonewallJackson. And yet the name was a misnomer. ‘Thunderbolt,’ ‘Tornado’ or ‘Cyclone’ would be more appropriate to Jackson's character as a soldier.

I cannot, within the proper limits of this paper, give even an outline of Jackson's subsequent career as a soldier — that would be to sketch the history of the Army of Northern Virginia, while he remained in it. But I propose rather to give and illustrate several salient points in his character as a soldier.

First, I notice Jackson's rapidity of movement.

N. B. Forrest, ‘the wizard of the saddle,’ when asked the secret of his wonderful success, replied: ‘I am there first with most men.’ Stonewall Jackson always got there first, and while his force was always inferior in numbers to the enemy, he not infrequently had ‘the most men’ at the point of contact.

When General Banks reported that Jackson was ‘in full retreat up the Valley,’ started a column to join McClellan east of the Blue Ridge, and was on his own way to report at Washington, Jackson (on a mistaken report of the number left in the Valley) suddenly wheeled, made a rapid march and struck at Kernstown a blow, which, while the only defeat he ever sustained, brought back the column which was crossing the mountains, and disarranged McClellan's plan of campaign.

He then moved up the Valley, took a strong position in Swift Run Gap, and after Ewell's Division joined him, he left Ewell to watch Banks, made a rapid march to unite with Edward Johnson, and sent (May the 9th) his famous dispatch: ‘God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday.’ Ordering Ewell to join him at Luray, he pushed down the Valley, drove in Bank's flank at Front Royal, cut his retreating column [82] at Middletown, marched all night by the light of the burning wagons of the enemy, and early the next morning drove Banks from Winchester and pursued him to the Potomac.

Learning that Shields, from McDowell's column at Fredericksburg, and Fremont, from the West, were hurrying to form a junction in his rear, he marched his old brigade thirty-five miles, and one of the regiments, the 2nd Virginia, forty-two miles a day, and safely passed the point of danger at Strasburg, carrying his immense wagon train loaded with captured stores, his prisoners and everything, ‘not leaving behind so much as a broken wagon wheel.’ He then moved leisurely up the Valley until at Cross Keys and Port Republic he suffered himself to be ‘caught,’ and proved beyond question that the man who caught Stonewall Jackson had indeed ‘caught a Tartar.’

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Stonewall Jackson (9)
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