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StonewallJackson's death. [from the times-dispatch May 29, 1934.j

Wounded by his own Men—Last order on the battlefield.

The writer of the following article served under Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in the war between the States. He says:

General Lee's army was located on the south side of the Rappahannock river, near Fredericksburg, Va., in the winter of 1863. General Hooker's army was on the opposite side, 2nd in the early spring crossed the Rappahannock. On the morning of May 2, 1863, General Stonewall Jackson received orders from General Lee to attack Hooker's rear, and forthwith Jackson put his corps in rapid marching order. About 5 P. M. Jackson had reached the desired location in the rear of Hooker's army and at once gave orders to attack the enemy. The movement of the Confederates was so sudden and terrific that the Federal troops were routed in the utmost confusion. The Confederates continued to advance until about 9 P. M. Jackson had paralyzed the right wing of Hooker's army and his men were stampeded in much disorder upon the center of Hooker's reserves. But the thick undergrowth rendered rapid pursuit almost impossible at night. At this hour the Confederate lines became somewhat entangled, in consequence of darkness and thick undergrowth, and it was necessary to halt the Confederate force in order to reform the regiments. To complete the victory Jackson was about to swing his left, interpose his corps between Hooker's army and the Rappahannock river, and then cut off the retreat of the enemy.

At this critical moment, accompanied by Captain R. E. Wilbourn, Captain William Randolph, with a half dozen couriers and two men of the signal corps, Jackson rode forward to determine the exact location of the enemy. Hooker's army was within 300 yards and no picketts had been established between the opposing forces. Such was Jackson's ardor at this crisis of the battle that he continued his way without thought of personal danger. One of his staff officers, realizing the peril to which the general was exposed, ventured to remark: [95]

General, don't you think this is the wrong place for you?

“The danger is all over,” replied General Jackson, ‘the enemy is routed. Go back and tell A. P. Hill to press forward.’

Then Jackson continued forward and had advanced about 100 yards beyond his line when suddenly a volley was fired by his own men, and apparently aimed at him and his staff.

Jackson received three wounds, two balls entering the left arm, severing the artery, and one the right arm. All his escort excepting Captain Wilbourn and Mr. Wynn, of the signal corps, were killed or wounded. The firing ceased as suddenly as it had begun. Captain Wilbourn, standing near Jackson, said:

“General, they must certainly be our men,” to which he assented with a nod, but said nothing.

He looked toward his lines with apparent astonishment, as if unable to realize that he could have been fired at by his own troops. He was taken from his horse, and soon General A. P. Hill rode up and expressed his regret.

The enemy was not more than one hundred yards distant, and it was necessary to remove Jackson, as the battle was likely to be renewed at any moment. He was carried to the rear with much difficulty through the undergrowth.

General Pender recognized General Jackson as he was being carried through the lines, and said:

Oh, General; I am sorry to see you wounded! My force is so much shattered that I fear I will have to fall back.

Although much exhausted by loss of blood, General Jackson raised his drooping head and exclaimed:

You must hold your ground, sir! You must hold your ground!

This was Jackson's last order on the battlefield. He was then placed in an ambulance and taken to the field hospital at Wilderness run. He lost a great quantity of blood and would have bled to death, but a tourniquet was forthwith applied.

He was asked if amputation was necessary should it be done at once. He replied:

Yes; certainly, Dr. McGuire; do for me whatever you think right.

The operation was performed under the influence of chloroform. The wounded soldier bore it well. He slept well Sunday morning and was cheerful. He sent for Mrs. Jackson and asked minutely about the battle, saying: [96]

If I had not been wounded or had one hour more of daylight, I would have cut off the enemy from the road to the United States ford and we could have had them entirely surrounded. Then they would have been obliged to surrender or cut their way out; they had no other alternative. My troops sometimes failed to drive the enemy from a position, but the enemy always fails to drive my men from a position.

This was said with a smile.

Monday he was removed to Chancellor's House. He was cheerful. He spoke of the gallant bearing of General Rodes and of the heroic charge of the old Stonewall Brigade. He made inquiries concerning many officers and said:

The men who live through this war will be proud to say, “I was one of the Stonewall Brigade,” to their children.

He insisted that the term ‘Stonewall’ belonged to the brigade and not to him.

Tuesday his wounds were improving. He asked Dr. McGuire:

Can you tell me from the appearance of the wounds, how long I will be kept from the field?

When told he was doing remarkably well, he was much pleased.

Wednesday night, however, while his surgeon who had not slept several nights previous, was asleep, General Jackson complained of nausea, and ordered his nurse to place a wet towel over his stomach. This was done, and about daylight the surgeon was awakened by the nurse, who said that the General was suffering with pain in the right side, due to incipient pneumonia.

Thursday Mrs. Jackson arrived, greatly to the joy of the General, and she faithfully nursed him to the end. In the evening all pain vanished, but he suffered much from prostration.

Friday morning the pain had not returned, but the prostration was increased. Saturday there was no change in his condition.

Sunday morning, when it was apparent that he was sinking rapidly, Mrs. Jackson was informed of his condition, and she imparted the knowledge to the General. He said:

Very good, very good, it is all right.

He had previously declared that he considered ‘these wounds a blessing.’ He sent messages to all the generals, and expressed a desire to be buried at Lexington, Va.

About 3:30 o'clock, May 10, 1863, Stonewall Jackson passed over the river of rest. His military achievements are without parallel in history. [97]

To General Jackson's note informing General Lee that he was wounded, the latter replied:

I cannot express my regret at the sad occurrence. Could I have directed events, I should have chosen for the good of my country to have been disabled in your stead. I congratulate you on the victory which was due to your skill and energy.

It was on receiving this letter that Jackson exclaimed: ‘Better that ten Jacksons should fall than General Lee!’ He had unbounded confidence in General Lee's eminent ability.

The Stonewall Brigade was composed of men from the Valley. The 4th Virginia Regiment was from the southern part of the Valley-Greenbrier and adjoining counties-and was commanded by Colonel Preston. The 2nd Virginia Regiment was from the lower valley-Jefferson, Berkeley and Frederick counties. Colonel Allen was the commander. The 5th Virginia Regiment was from Augusta county, excepting Captain Stover Funk's company, from Winchester, Colonel Harper commanding. The 27th Virginia Regiment, of Rockbridge and adjoining counties, was commanded by Colonel Echols. The 33d Virginia Regiment, most of the members of which were from Shenandoah county, was commanded by Col. A. C. Cummings. These were the original commanders of the regiments composing the Stonewall Brigade, but in the storms of battle they were soon numbered among the dead and their successors met a similar fate.

General Jackson was the incarnation of a Christian soldier. His sublime faith in God dominated all else. Duty was his guiding star, and he personally attended to all the possible details of a great battle. Generally he was in front, leading his legions, with his hand pointing to heaven, his lips moving as if supplicating guidance from the Supreme Ruler.

In my mind's eye, I see him astride ‘old sorrel,’ and now and then giving the terse command, his forefinger pointing towards heaven and his lips quivering:

Push forward, men! Push forward!

He was devoted to his men and always gave them generous praise for heroism. He was a strict disciplinarian, and would not tolerate disobedience of orders by any one.

General Jackson's campaign in the Shenandoah Valley in the spring of 1862 was a series of brilliant victories, which has no equal in war. Within a period of five weeks he defeated General Fremont, at the battle of McDowell; General Banks, near Winchester; [98] General Shields, at Port Republic, and General Fremont again, at Cross Keys.

In each battle Jackson's opponent had double the force he commanded. The design of the Union generals was to concentrate their forces and crush Jackson by their overwhelming numbers, but Jackson's superior strategy of keeping them separated, retreating and advancing at will, and attacking them in detail at places which he desired, proved that he was a great master of the art of war. His men were inspired by the motive of self-defence and self-preservation—the first laws of nature.

After Jackson had driven the Federal forces from the Shenandoah Valley he joined General Lee at Richmond, and fell upon the right wing of General McClellan's army. Victory after victory crowned the Confederate banners for two years. But the magnificent army that defeated McClellan in 1862 was gradually lessened by bullet and disease, and when the surrender came it was a mere skeleton in numbers. Attrition did the work.

After the battle of the First Manassas General Jackson advanced, getting together all the available men of the South to invade the North. He argued that the North had unlimited resources, while those of the South were limited. He declared that in acting upon the defensive it was sometimes necessary to become the aggressor in order to be successful. He maintained that the North would wear down the South if the duration of the war developed upon endurance of numbers.

Subsequent events proved Jackson's theory to be correct. The 2,800,000 soldiers enlisted in the North simply wore out the 550,000 Southern soldiers. New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio alone enlisted for the cause of the Union 750,000 men, which is more than the combined South enlisted in defense of its cause.

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