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EDUCATION

Leaders

Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

Gen. Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson
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Thomas Jackson graduated from West Point in 1846, having gained a reputation for being strict and disciplined. He served as an artillery officer in the Mexican War. Jackson thrived on the battlefield and was promoted three times for his work in Mexico.

After the war, Jackson took a position as a teacher at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., his home state. Jackson was extremely religious and actually breaks the law by establishing a Sunday School for slave children. After two marriages and many difficulties with having children, he believes his duty is to simply please God.

Jackson is delighted when the war begins, so he can return to the combat he misses. The skilled Confederate general earns his famous "Stonewall" nickname at the First Battle of Bull Run as his brigade stands firm against on onslaught of Union infantry.

One confederate commander rallies his troops by saying, "Look there, Jackson stands like a stone wall." The nickname stuck.

Thomas Jackson becomes one of Lee's most trusted generals and is personally responsible for several victories.

His battles in the Shenendoah Valley become legendary. Jackson's aggressive nature puts him and his forces in the center of the battle and unafraid of the superior Union army. He does well much of the time.

This constant need to push forward gets Jackson into trouble, however, when he is shot by his own men at Chancellorsville while investigating his army's position in front of his own lines.

His left arm is amputated, and in his weakened condition, Jackson dies several days later from pneumonia. His last words are, "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of trees." Never again is the Confederate army as bold as they were with Stonewall Jackson.

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