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'Stonewall' theory: He could have lived page 2
Residents can enjoy special candlelight tour of Jackson Shrine this week and also learn more about the Confederate general's death.

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Date published: 5/6/2002

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But the same wasn't true for Jackson. In fact, he was freezing cold.

"Jackson had on two shirts, a uniform coat and a heavy canvas raincoat, on a day when there was no rain," O'Reilly said.

Diary entries describe Jackson shivering over a campfire and even dipping his fingers into the flames for warmth.

But Jackson set forth on May 2, leading his troops around to the right of the Union army and launching his hugely successful flank attack against unsuspecting federal troops.

About 9 p.m., however, as Jackson was returning to his line, a volley of gunfire erupted from the woods and the general was shot three times by soldiers with the 18th North Carolina Infantry. Two bullets hit his left arm and a third lodged in his right hand.

Jackson's left arm was shattered. Further damage was done when he was dropped on the ground while being removed from the battlefield by stretcher.

"When he was dropped, he landed on his wounded arm and it starts to bleed heavily," O'Reilly said.

Doctors said Jackson was "pulseless" for almost two hours and had lost nearly half his blood.

Although he was near death, all of the symptoms associated with Jackson's respiratory ailment abated.

"Once his body went into shock from the wounding, his system shut down," O'Reilly said. "As a result, the doctors didn't see a man who was sick, they just saw one who was wounded."

After surgeons removed his arm, Jackson was actually feeling better.

"He was alert, responsive, showing strength and, for Jackson, very talkative," O'Reilly said. "He was even badgering the doctors on when he could get back to duty."

On May 7, that all changed.

Jackson, who was taken to Thomas Chandler's office at Guinea Station, awoke that morning with severe nausea, pain in his side and problems breathing. His fever also began to build.

It was then that a bevy of doctors began treating him for pneumonia, believing he contracted it after he was wounded.

Their methods, which included purging the body and bloodletting, failed, and at about 3:15 p.m. on May 10 Jackson died.

The one unanswered question that nagged O'Reilly, however, was why none of the doctors around Jackson picked up on his pre-existing illness.


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