Stonewall’s great-great granddaughter

Corty01ecwOne of the great benefits of this job is the opportunity to travel around and talk to different Civil War Roundtables.

On Wednesday of this week, I spent an evening in Manhattan with the Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York about Ulysses S. Grant’s memoirs. On the Saturday prior, I spent time in Burlington, North Carolina, with the North Carolina Civil War Roundtable—the oldest roundtable in the state—speaking about the last days of Stonewall Jackson.

As part of that visit to North Carolina, I had the pleasure of having dinner with Bill and Corty Freeman. Corty is one of Stonewall Jackson’s great-great granddaughters.

Corty was one of four children born to Elizabeth Cortland Preston (Jackson’s great-granddaughter) and John Creech.

Elizabeth’s mother was Julia Jackson Christian (Jackson’s granddaughter), who had married Edmund Randolph Preston.

JuliaJacksonJulia Jackson Christian’s mother was Julia Laura Jackson (Jackson’s daughter), who had married William Edmund Christian. Julia and William also had a younger son, Thomas Jonathan Jackson Christian. Julia was 22 when she married William. She died only a few years later, at the age of 26.

Mary Anna raised her granddaughter, Julia. “My grandmother remembered being there when they dedicated the statue to my great-great grandfather at his gravesite,” Corty told me. The statue, sculpted by Edward Valentine, stands over Jackson’s grave in Lexington, Virginia. It was dedicated on July 21, 1891, on the anniversary of the battle of First Manassas. “My grandmother was four,” Corty said.

Corty takes her own grandchildren to Lexington, where she has roots not only through her Jackson lineage but also through the Prestons. “I feel connected there,” Corty told me. “I want to share that sense of place with my grandchildren.”

(For more on Jackson’s ancestors and descendants, check out this page from, courtesy of VMI.)

Also as part of my visit to Burlington, I had the treat of meeting one of ECW’s longtime readers, the wonderful Amanda Warren. It was so nice to put a face to her name after all this time.


I know several of my ECW colleagues have also been on the road over the past couple of months. I know we all feel the same way: it’s immensely gratifying to get out and about to meet so many great people who are eager to hear great stories. While we all love to write, most of us come from public history backgrounds that have put us in close contact with the public—and that’s something that never quite leaves you once you’ve done it. Feel free to check out our speakers bureau or e-mail us for information about our availability.

9 Responses to Stonewall’s great-great granddaughter

  1. …and let me tell you all that Chris is a fabulous speaker! He had all of us spellbound throughout his rendition of General Jackson’s background leading up to the Civil War, Chancellorsville, and then the fateful shots that rang out in the night. We were there by his bedside as Jackson suffered, rallied, and then crossed over that river.

    I hope that all of you will have the opportunity at some point to experience Chris’s gift of vitalizing the history that we love!

    1. My name is Christine. I have been told my whole life that Stonewall Jackson is my great great great great grandfather. I have found so much that has showed it maybe true but nothing showing it is true. Please help me if you can and will help. My grandmother was born Christine Dorthy Jackson. She was one of six children. Her siblings were Jula. Jo Briggs. Buster. Polly. I don’t remember the other sibling born but it was a female. Two boys and four females. My grandmother was born in 1910 in Bowlingreen Ky. She was a millinery brat. She was Miss Ohio around age 17. She married Wilber D Wilson who fought in ww 2. They had 2 children. My mom Linda Ann Wilson and my uncle David Edwad Wilson. My mom married Keith Edwin Grider and me, Christine Michelle Grider and my sister Susan Elizabeth Grider. I am now Christine Douglas. My sister is now Susan Ross. Family and where I came from means so much to me. Please help.

      1. did you ever find out info about Stonewall Jackson? He is in my family line too. a 5th cousin 7x removed.

      2. Christine, my name is Julia (Julie) Whitmore, my grandmother, Madeline Jackson is the sister that you cannot remember in your comment. I can’t believe I was reading those names of her siblings! I was actually named after her sister Julia, who was blind. I remember my Aunt Gloria (Madeline’s daughter) talking about her siblings, Julia, Jo Briggs, Buster, Christine and Polly. Madeline lived in the Ludlow and Newport, KY, where my dad, Donald was born. My Aunt Gloria would talk about being a descendant of Stonewall Jackson. I wished I would have paid more attention. I found your comment while searching for more information on Stonewall. Can you email me so we can talk more about our family?

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