Happy 155th birthday to Stonewall Jackson, who was born on this day in 1861.
Of course, Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on January 21, 1824, in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia).
But it was on this day 155 years ago at the battle of First Manassas that Jackson earned his famous nickname—arguably one of the most famous in American history—through his defense of Henry House Hill. Jackson always demurred, saying the name belonged to the brigade, not to him, and indeed the Stonewall Brigade wore its name proudly.
I’ve always found Jackson to be a fascinating person—he’s the reason I got into Civil War history (well, my daughter had something to do with it, too!). There’s one thing I’ve learned in my 20+ years of devotion to the man: there’s as much about him that’s myth and legend as there is that’s fact. That’s a shame, because I think the myth shrouds the man and doesn’t really do him justice. However, people love their Jackson stories, regardless of how true they are or might/might not be.
That said, what’s your favorite Stonewall Jackson story?