Stonewall Jackson needs no formal introduction, being one of the most famous generals of the Civil War, revered throughout the South for his extremely successful military skill. At the same time, Jackson’s pious Christianity and seeming eccentricities have continued to fascinate historians, scholars and readers, who often still argue why he would hold his left arm up with his palm facing outward while in battle.
Jackson earned his famous “stonewall” moniker at the Battle of First Bull Run, when Brigadier-General Bee told his brigade to rally behind Jackson, who was standing like a stone wall. General Bee was mortally wounded shortly after giving the order, so it’s still unclear whether that was a compliment for standing strong or an insult for not moving his brigade, but the nickname stuck for the brigade and the general itself.
Jackson would go on to lead an army to one of the most incredible campaigns of the war in the Shenandoah Valley in 1862. Known as the Valley Campaign, Jackson kept 3 Union armies occupied north of Richmond with less than 1/3 of the men. Jackson’s forces marched about 650 miles in just 3 months, earning the nickname “foot cavalry.”
As a general, Jackson had to write an official account of his actions during the Seven Days Campaign in June 1862, and it was preserved in The War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. This account, which comes from the Official Records, gives a very matter of fact account of the campaign and was written in February 1863, about two months before Jackson was mortally wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville.