Jun 25, 2012

Where Was Stonewall?

(NYTimes) In the early spring of 1862, the Confederate general Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson won dazzling victories in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley that made him “the hero of the South.” Combining incredible energy and audacity with a mastery of terrain and tactics, Jackson’s Valley Campaign is internationally famous and still studied today.
Beginning later that year with the Second Battle of Bull Run, Jackson cemented his reputation as Gen. Robert E. Lee’s hardest-hitting corps commander. After solid fighting at Antietam and a decisive victory at Fredericksburg, he was instrumental in the resounding Union defeat at Chancellorsville. Tragically for the Southern forces, he was wounded by friendly fire immediately following what was arguably his greatest success. He died a few days later, on May 10, 1863.
Between these two legendary pinnacles is the series of bloody engagements around Richmond in late June, 1862 known collectively as the Seven Days. For most of the time, Jackson wasn’t where he was supposed to be when he was supposed to be there; and, from all reports, he was ineffectual, listless and confused. Continued