In part 1 we mentioned how the real Stonewall Jackson did not quite fit the typical mold that we generally think of when we think of Southern Slavery. In fact, Jackson appeared to be approaching something of a theological justification of slavery, which we know does appear at times in the Bible. Of course, the story of slavery in the Bible most often includes a story wherein the slaves are ultimately freed. This freedom could be several generations after a people is taken into slavery, but most always there is a clause for freeing the slave at some future point. Regardless, we must admit that the foundation for the theological existence of slavery can be found in the Bible and so we at least see Jackson concerned with something other than the monetary gain of owning slaves. If Jackson were guilty of anything then, it would have been misunderstanding the intent and will of God in the sense that the time for slavery of African Americans had expired.
Of course, it is also true of Israel as a whole that often times the country and its citizens would misinterpret some prophet to the detriment of the entire nation. Sometimes this led to the entire ruin of the nation as a consequence. We can understand the character of Jackson in the broader context of that of Israel and find that we are all at some point or another most often guilty of not recognizing the timing of divine matters or divine judgments.
Jackson, was, in fact, judged during the experience:
In 1861, after Virginia seceded from the Union and as the American Civil War broke out, Jackson became a drill master for some of the many new recruits in the Confederate Army. On April 27, 1861, Virginia Governor John Letcher ordered Colonel Jackson to take command at Harpers Ferry, where he would assemble and command the unit which later gained fame as the "Stonewall Brigade", consisting of the 2nd, 4th, 5th, 27th, and 33rd Virginia Infantry regiments. All of these units were from the Shenandoah Valley region of Virginia, where Jackson located his headquarters throughout the first two years of the war. Jackson became known for his relentless drilling of his troops; he believed discipline was vital to success on the battlefield. Following raids on the B&O Railroad on May 24, he was promoted to brigadier general on June 17.
Jackson rose to prominence and earned his most famous nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run (First Manassas) on July 21, 1861. As the Confederate lines began to crumble under heavy Union assault, Jackson's brigade provided crucial reinforcements on Henry House Hill, demonstrating the discipline he instilled in his men. Brig. Gen. Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. exhorted his own troops to re-form by shouting, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!" There is some controversy over Bee's statement and intent, which could not be clarified because he was killed almost immediately after speaking and none of his subordinate officers wrote reports of the battle. Major Burnett Rhett, chief of staff to General Joseph E. Johnston, claimed that Bee was angry at Jackson's failure to come immediately to the relief of Bee's and Francis S. Bartow's brigades while they were under heavy pressure. Those who subscribe to this opinion believe that Bee's statement was meant to be pejorative: "Look at Jackson standing there like a stone wall!"
Regardless of the controversy and the delay in relieving Bee, Jackson's brigade, which would thenceforth be known as the Stonewall Brigade, stopped the Union assault and suffered more casualties than any other Southern brigade that day; Jackson has since then been generally known as Stonewall Jackson. During the battle, Jackson displayed a gesture common to him and held his left arm skyward with the palm facing forward – interpreted by his soldiers variously as an eccentricity or an entreaty to God for success in combat. His hand was struck by a bullet or a piece of shrapnel and he suffered a small loss of bone in his middle finger. He refused medical advice to have the finger amputated. After the battle, Jackson was promoted to major general (October 7, 1861) and given command of the Valley District, with headquarters in Winchester.
So he was ajudged an able commander and promoted in rank despite some failures and even received a nickname possibly due to a perceived failure in timing. What allowed for this success it appears in part was a comparatively higher rate of sacrifice than other brigades since Jackson's Brigade was responsible for stopping the Union assault. So timing and sacrifice were the first judgments in his career--and he rose to prominence on the basis of them.
His final battle though may tell the full story:
At the Battle of Chancellorsville, the Army of Northern Virginia was faced with a serious threat by the Army of the Potomac and its new commanding general, Major General Joseph Hooker. General Lee decided to employ a risky tactic to take the initiative and offensive away from Hooker's new southern thrust – he decided to divide his forces. Jackson and his entire corps went on an aggressive flanking maneuver to the right of the Union lines: this flanking movement would be one of the most successful and dramatic of the war. While riding with his infantry in a wide berth well south and west of the Federal line of battle, Jackson employed Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee's cavalry to provide for better reconnaissance regarding the exact location of the Union right and rear. The results were far better than even Jackson could have hoped. Fitzhugh Lee found the entire right side of the Federal lines in the middle of open field, guarded merely by two guns that faced westward, as well as the supplies and rear encampments. The men were eating and playing games in carefree fashion, completely unaware that an entire Confederate corps was less than a mile away. What happened next is given in Fitzhugh Lee's own words:
So impressed was I with my discovery, that I rode rapidly back to the point on the Plank road where I had left my cavalry, and back down the road Jackson was moving, until I met "Stonewall" himself. "General", said I, "if you will ride with me, halting your column here, out of sight, I will show you the enemy's right, and you will perceive the great advantage of attacking down the Old turnpike instead of the Plank road, the enemy's lines being taken in reverse. Bring only one courier, as you will be in view from the top of the hill." Jackson assented, and I rapidly conducted him to the point of observation. There had been no change in the picture. I only knew Jackson slightly. I watched him closely as he gazed upon Howard's troops. It was then about 2 pm. His eyes burned with a brilliant glow, lighting up a sad face. His expression was one of intense interest, his face was colored slightly with the paint of approaching battle, and radiant at the success of his flank movement. To the remarks made to him while the unconscious line of blue was pointed out, he did not reply once during the five minutes he was on the hill, and yet his lips were moving. From what I have read and heard of Jackson since that day, I know now what he was doing then. Oh! "beware of rashness", General Hooker. Stonewall Jackson is praying in full view and in rear of your right flank! While talking to the Great God of Battles, how could he hear what a poor cavalryman was saying. "Tell General Rodes", said he, suddenly whirling his horse towards the courier, "to move across the Old plank road; halt when he gets to the Old turnpike, and I will join him there." One more look upon the Federal lines, and then he rode rapidly down the hill, his arms flapping to the motion of his horse, over whose head it seemed, good rider as he was, he would certainly go. I expected to be told I had made a valuable personal reconnaissance – saving the lives of many soldiers, and that Jackson was indebted to me to that amount at least. Perhaps I might have been a little chagrined at Jackson's silence, and hence commented inwardly and adversely upon his horsemanship. Alas! I had looked upon him for the last time.
— Fitzhugh Lee, address to the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia, 1879
So we can see again this issue of timing and preparedness. It should have been Jackson's crowning achievement...however:
Jackson immediately returned to his corps and arranged his divisions into a line of battle to charge directly into the oblivious Federal right. The Confederates marched silently until they were merely several hundred feet from the Union position, then released a bloodthirsty cry and full charge. Many of the Federals were captured without a shot fired, the rest were driven into a full rout. Jackson pursued relentlessly back toward the center of the Federal line until dusk.
Darkness ended the assault. As Jackson and his staff were returning to camp on May 2, they were mistaken for a Union cavalry force by the 18th North Carolina Infantry regiment who shouted, "Halt, who goes there?", but fired before evaluating the reply. Frantic shouts by Jackson's staff identifying the party were replied to by Major John D. Barry with the retort, "It's a damned Yankee trick! Fire!" A second volley was fired in response; in all, Jackson was hit by three bullets, two in the left arm and one in the right hand. Several other men in his staff were killed, in addition to many horses. Darkness and confusion prevented Jackson from getting immediate care. He was dropped from his stretcher while being evacuated because of incoming artillery rounds. Because of his injuries, Jackson's left arm had to be amputated by Dr. Hunter McGuire. Jackson was moved to Thomas C. Chandler's 740 acres (3.0 km2) plantation named Fairfield. He was offered Chandler's home for recovery, but Jackson refused and suggested using Chandler's plantation office building instead. He was thought to be out of harm's way; but unknown to the doctors, he already had classic symptoms of pneumonia, complaining of a sore chest. This soreness was mistakenly thought to be the result of his rough handling in the battlefield evacuation.
Jackson is killed by his own side. While he achieved the element of surprise on an unprepared Federal army unit, his own side fails to recognize him on what should have been his triumphant return and is thus sacrificed at a moment where his sacrifice should have been at the absolute least.
So it is evident there are certain themes present in the REAL Stonewall Jackson's life, and they are pretty severe. People are continually dying. There are mixed up identifications and time. These lead to mistakes where additional life is lost. The chief mistake seems to concern time and readiness which leads to mix-ups as to who is on what side. All of this is happening against the backdrop of a true civil rights matter--that is to say whether or not people should be property void of rights whatsoever outside their owners. This is the actual birth and foundation of what modern civil rights movements base themselves upon. We will compare the Gay Rights Stonewall movement to this one in Part 3.