From the Richmond Dispatch, 5/11/1863, p. 2, c. 3
DEATH OF GEN. THOS J. JACKSON
We have this morning to announce the sorrowful tidings of the death of Lieut. General THOS. J. JACKSON, which took place at the residence of Mr. Thos. Chandler, near Guinea Station, at fifteen minutes past 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon. We can partly anticipate the deep gloom which this announcement will cast over the whole country, with whose fortunes he was so closely identified, and by which he was regarded as one of its first and ablest defenders.
Gen. Jackson was born in the town of Clarksburg, Harrison county, Va., in the year 1825, and was the youngest of four children. Ere he had passed his third year his parents died. The subject of this sketch was taken by his uncle to Lewis county, where he remained until he arrived at the age of seventeen, when he was appointed a Cadet in the West Point Academy. In 1846 he graduated with high distinction, and was immediately ordered to report for duty to Gen. Taylor, with whom he served until Gen. Scott commenced his campaign in Mexico, when young Jackson was assigned to his command. Before he reached the city of Mexico he was brevetted Major for “gallant and meritorious conduct.” Soon after the termination of the war he resigned his commission in the army, and obtained a professorship in the Virginia Military Institute. Shortly after entering upon his duties there he married the daughter of Mr. Junkin, the Principal of Washington College. She died, and he subsequently married Miss Morrison, of North Carolina.
When the present war broke out he tendered his services to his native State, was commissioned Colonel by Gov. Letcher, and was unanimously confirmed by the Convention of Virginia, then in session. He was the first Colonel and the first man, under the provisional army of Virginia, to take command of his troops. As Colonel he commanded the forces at Harper’s Ferry till the arrival of Gen. Jos. E. Johnston. By Gen. J. he was assigned the important duty of checking the Yankee General in his advance. How well he performed that duty the following extract from General Johnston’s official report of the battle of Manassas will show:
“On the 2d of July Gen. Patterson again crossed the Potomac. Col. Jackson, pursuant to instructions, fell back before him. In retiring, he gave him a severe lesson in the affair at Falling Waters. With a battalion of the 5th Virginia regiment (Harper’s) and Pendleton’s battery of field artillery he engaged the enemy’s advance. Skillfully taking a position where the smallness of his force was concealed, he engaged them for a considerable time, inflicted a heavy loss, and retired, when about to be outflanked, scarcely losing a man, but bringing off forty-five prisoners.”
Soon after this affair Col. Jackson was made a Brigadier-General. At the first battle of Manassas he gained the soubriquet of “Stonewall,” under the following circumstances: --Gen. Bee, whose brigade was being sorely pressed, rode up to Gen. Jackson, and said: “General, they are beating us back.” The reply was, “Sir, we will give them the bayonet.” Gen. Bee immediately rallied the remnant of his brigade, and his last words to them were: “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me.”
In November, after the battle of Manassas, Gen. Jackson was assigned to the command of the Department of the Valley. On the 23d of March following the battle of Kernstown was fought. With a force not exceeding 3,000 effective men he attacked 20,000 fresh troops, repulsed them repeatedly, and so crippled the foe that he dared not, with all his numbers, follow him in his retreat. The next fight in which he commanded was at McDowell, where he met the enemy under Milroy, and defeated him after four hours’ hard fighting. In the following dispatch he announced his triumph:
“VALLEY DISTRICT, May 9, 1862.
“To Gen. S. Cooper:
“God blessed our arms with victory at McDowell yesterday. T J JACKSON, “Maj.-Gen.”
Pushing down the Valley he drove the enemy from Front Royal and Winchester, and on the 26th he dispatched his Government as follows:
“WINCHESTER, May 26.
“During the last three days God has blessed our arms with brilliant success. On Friday the Federals at Front Royal were routed, and one section of artillery, in addition to many prisoners, captured. On Saturday Banks’s main column, while retreating from Strasburg to Winchester, was pierced, the rear part retreating towards Strasburg. On Sunday the other part was routed at this place. At last accounts Brigadier-General George H. Stuart was pursuing them with cavalry and artillery and capturing many. A large amount of medical, ordnance, and other stores, have fallen into our hands. T. J. JACKSON.”
Gen. Jackson soon fell back to meet the combined forces of Fremont and Shields. – These he met at Cross Keys and Port Republic on the 8th and 9th of June, when he obtained another decided victory. The following characteristic dispatch announces his victory:
NEAR PORT REPUBLIC, 9th,
Via Staunton, June 10th, 1862.
To S. Cooper, Adj’t Gen’l:
Through God’s blessing, the enemy near Port Republic was this day routed, with the loss of six pieces of his artillery.
(Signed,) T. J. JACKSON, Major-Gen’l Commanding.
This, for the time, closed his operations in the Valley, and his command was ordered to join Gen. Lee, which it did in time to participate in the series of battles which delivered Richmond from the siege under which it had been laid by McClellan. In all these battles Gen. Jackson bore a conspicuous part, as he did subsequently at Cedar Run, Manassas Plains, Harper’s Ferry, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. At Chancellorsville fate ordered that his useful career should be closed, and over his loss a bleeding country is now called to mourn.