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Stonewall Jackson’s Birthday

Thomas Jonathoan Stonewall JacksonThomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, one of Robert E. Lee’s most outstanding generals in the Army of Northern Virginia, was born in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), on January 21, 1824. Orphaned at a young age, Jackson spent much of his childhood moving between the homes of various family members. In 1842, he was awarded an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A commissioned officer during the Mexican War, he served as a second lieutenant of artillery.

When Virginia seceded from the Union in April 1861, Jackson volunteered to serve his state and quickly organized a group of amateur soldiers into an effective army brigade. By July of that year, Jackson’s men, fighting in the army of Joseph E. Johnston, moved to meet the federal invasion of Virginia at Bull Run. Here, Jackson earned the admiration of fellow soldiers for standing “like a stone wall” in the face of enemy fire. Jackson, in response, is reported to have said, “Let my men have the name, it belongs more to them than to me.” Read more about Jackson at Virginia Military Institute, where he taught until the beginning of the Civil War.

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