Friday, May 2, 2008

Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

145 years ago today, a mistake was made that continues to reverberate today as a defining moment in American History. On May 2, 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, had craftily flanked the Union troops . After a successful assault, Jackson and others rode back to camp. In the darkness, Jackson and his men were mistaken for Union troops and were fired at, striking Stonewall with 3 bullets. Unable to get adequate and immediate medical care, Jackson languished for 8 days before passing.
The death of Stonewall Jackson was the beginning of the end for the fledgling Confederacy. Not only a brilliant tactician, Jackson was the right hand man of Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Jackson's death came at the high water mark for Confederate military success in the Civil War. His death was a demoralizing blow to the Southern cause and left Lee without his most trusted soldier. The loss of Jackson would be felt when confusion and missed opportunities led to defeat at Gettysburg. It is not a stretch to say that the death of Jackson directly correlated to the subsequent Union victories. Prior to Chancellorsville, Confederate generals had consistently out-maneuvered Union leaders and enjoyed a string of early successes. Once Lee's right-hand man was lost, the Southern cause was lost as well.