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 Civil War Commanders and Units    
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1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 80

Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil war
Posted on: 10/28/2017 11:12:22 AM
“One of the most remarkable soldiers we have ever known. His mastery of two of the most important elements of war, surprise and envelopment has never been surpassed”
-Douglas MacArthur

“Jackson as a campaigner in the field never had a superior, in some respects, I don't think he ever had an equal”
-Lord Fredrick Roberts British Commander

“He ranks as one of the supreme military geniuses in world history”
-Bevin Alexander Military historian professor of history at Longwood University


While it is a minority view I am not the only one. There are some civil war historians and generals who would rate Jackson as the best civil war commander, and a quick Google search will show it also holds among a minority of lay civil war buffs. Jackson is usually ranked anywhere from 1-4 usually sitting at the three spot in the majority opinions that puts Grant and Lee at the top.

“The most remarkable man in the history of war”
-Richmond Examiner 1862

“The greatest general ever produced by the American people”
-military historian Brevin Alexander

“One of the few military geniuses”
-Still Standing the Stonewall Jackson story

“He is of course a great military genius”
-Charles minor Black ford


The Virginian Thomas Jonathan Jackson graduated from west point in 1846 and served in the Mexican -American war with distinction and bravery. Once while under artillery fire Jackson men were scarred and would not fire so Jackson went up ahead of his cannons and stood comely while a cannon ball crashed between his legs. This brave act encouraged his men to fight on. His performances led to promotion to major. After the war he taught at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. He was never considered a great teacher and perhaps the worst in its history, but he was dedicated to study and his students. However faculty and staff saw something about Jackson that separated him from the rest. One student of Jackson's said

“I cant stand the way this man teaches, but if I ever have to go to war, I want to go with him”
-VMI student under Jackson


This student would get his chance and would later die under the command of Jackson during the valley campaign.

Early war

Jackson was first given command and orders to hold Haprers Ferry early in the war were he showed himself a great disciplinarian and trainer. He quickly turned a rag tag bunch of drinking militia into a fighting unit within 2 weeks. John Imododen an artilarist said of Jackson they “were in the presence of a mastermind.” Jackson's first engagement would be a skirmish in the battle of Falling waters where Jackson conducted an aggressive scouting operation.

“He had conducted an aggressive reconnaissance in force, had inflicted damage on the enemy, and then, obeying the letter of Johnston orders, had conducted a disciplined retreat, contesting ground all the way, he was so effective that union general Patterson estimated jack sons total strength at 3,500 men, ten times what he actually had on the field.”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014


Jackson had been outnumbered 8-1 yet showed high command his skill and ability as a commander. Joe Johnston recommended his promotion saying Jackson should be “Promoted without delay" and he earned brigadier general.

Bull Run

Now a brigade commander under Joe Johnson's army in the Shenandoah Valley. His brigade was the first sent by Johnson to aid Beauregard at the battle of Bull run. Jackson was little know at this time however

“Within a year, he would be one of the most famous men in the world”
-John J Hennessy The first battle of Manassas


Bull run had turned into a rout on the confederate flank. McDowell's flanking maneuver had crushed the confederates who broke, and ran in retreat. It was so decisive the north thought the battle was already won. McDowell rode along the union lines screaming victory, victory, a staff officer yelling “we have done it.” However Jackson was sent to help the flank and without orders decided Henry Hill would be the key to the battlefield and was the only possible place to rally the outnumbered, retreating confederates. He placed his brigade on the reverse side of the hill to hide his men and had them lie down. He placed his men where his flanks were protected by the terrain and had great line of fire, according to Hennessy he simply “read the ground very well” and “utilized all the advantages of Henry Hill.” Jackson The former Artillery officer and instructor placed his artillery in optimal place to be effective. He contacted Calvary General Jeb Stuart to cover his flanks. Because Jackson kept his force hidden McDowell was unaware of the force in front of him and delayed his attack with an artillery barrage to try and draw out the confederates. He than sent his attack one regiments at a time instead of in full force not knowing how much Jackson had hidden and thinking the south already defeated. This gave Johnston and Beauregard time to move bring in more reinforcements.

Jackson Becomes Stonewall

“That great and apparently irresistible blue cloud wave finally hit an immovable wall”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Jackson started rallying broken confederate units around his command and placing them in mixed match units. By riding back and fourth in front of his men on his horse saying “all is well men.” He kept his own green troops calm who were scared of the artillery fire and seeing confederates in retreat all around. His men saw their commander oblivious to the danger of artillery fire and bullets [he was shot through the finger] and this encouraged them to stand and fight. One of his soldiers described the scene as Jackson “in a shower of death as calmly as a farmer about his farm when the seasons are good” another described him as “as calm in the mist of a hurricane of bullets as though he were on a dress parade at west point.” he once took a nap midday not out of fatigue against a tree, while in the midst of an artillery duel. Later in the war he picked blueberries while under picket fire and was a calm as if nothing was going on. When later asked about his bravery Jackson replied

“Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave.”

“A braver man God never made”
-Richmond Dispatch


General Bee whose brigade was in full retreat told Jackson they were beaten off the field and it was no use. Jackson replied “Sir, we shall give them the bayonet.” Bee than became confident and rode to his men and told them “Look. Men, there stands Jackson like a stonewall rally behind the Virginians.” Troops from Bees brigade and others started to rally around Jackson command. Seeing what was unfolding Johnston and Beauregard started sending and placing units around Henry Hill to support Jackson. Jackson also known by his men as “old blue lights” since his eyes would light up in battle, earned his most famous nickname “Stonewall” Jackson said it

“ought to be attached wholly to the men of the brigade, and not to me, for it was their steadfast heroism which earned it at first manassas”
-Stonewall Jackson

“The conduct of general Jackson also requires mention as eminentley that of a able, fearless solider and sagacious commander, one fit to lead his effective brigade. His prompt, timely arrival before the plateau of Henry house, and his judicious disposition of his troops, contributed much to the success of the day”
-P.G.T Beauregard


The Rebel Yell

“fire and give them the bayonett, and when you charge, yell like furies”
-Stonewall Jackson to his command on Henry Hill


Jackson told his command to lie down until the enemy comes within 50 yards, than stand, release a single volley, than with bayonets fixed, charge down the hill yelling. This stunned the union attacks who thought the battle all but won and Jackson's counter attack captured some union artillery while federal soldiers fled from the confederates who were yelling “like wild men.” The rebel yell that even union soldiers admitted was very effective throughout the war in demoralizing northern soldiers. started at Bull Run under Jackson's orders. One union solider said “There is nothing like it on this side of the inferno region. The particular corkscrew sensation that it sends down your back bone...can never be told.”

“The noise sounded feral, unearthly, and inhumane...the practice would spread through the entire confederate army and it would soon have a name the rebel yell”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


The fighting continued for hours with reinforcements on both sides, but Henry Hill was the turning point and rallying point for the defeated confederates. Jacksons quick placement and leadership helped snatch victory from the hands of defeat for the south. It enabled the confederate high command to place more units to help stave off defeat and eventually order a counterattack that won the day. Had the north won, it is likely resistance in the south would suffer severely and Richmond would not have lasted long. With the loss of Richmond and later Virginia, the rest of the south would have soon followed if not for “Stonewall” Jackson on Henry Hill. Rumors quickly traveled fast throughout the Shenandoah valley that it was not Johnson or Beauregard who won the day, but the brigadier General and VMI professor Thomas J Jackson who would be promoted to Major general for his actions. Jackson would not take any credit instead he as always said

“all the glory is due to god alone”
-Stonewall Jackson


Missed a Chance to end the war?

“A determined attack would doubtless have carried Arlington heights and placed the city at the mercy of battery of riffled guns. If the secessionist attached any value to the possession of Washington, they committed their greatest error in not following up the victory of bull run”
-George B McClellan 5 days after Bull run


After the confederate victory at Bull Run “the south had a great opportunity to win the war.” Jackson told Jeff Davis as he visited the battlefield, to give him 10,000 men and he would capture D.C. The north was in complete rout, its citizen army thorough away their guns and retained no real cohesion. No defensive works had been built and its army completely demoralized. Yet Johnston felt his men to disorganized to follow up the victory. Jefferson Davis years later admitted it was the biggest mistake of the war.

Jackson's Valley Campaign Summary

“Always mystify,mislead and surprise the enemy if possible, and when you strike and overcome him, never let up in the pursuit so long as you men have strength to follow, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can your own force on any part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it, such tactics will win every time. Small army defeat a large one in detail”
-Stonewall Jackson

“Unsurpassed in all military history for brilliance and daring”
-Porter Alexander


Jackson was sent by Lee to hold the valley, a vital food supply for the confederate armies, starting with only a few thousand men. Later he would be reinforced to 17,000 men [armed with smooth bore] with the intent to also pull soldiers away from McClellan's attack on Richmond and to threatened D.C. In the Shenandoah Jackson's 17,000 men faced 60,000 union soldiers [armed almost entirely with riffled muskets] in three armies sent to clear the valley and destroy Jackson. Perhaps the one area I think Jackson is overrated was in his Shenandoah Valley campaign. It was not perfect, he made a few mistakes, men deserted that could not keep up with his foot Calvary, but the results cannot be argued with. His valley campaign is still studied in military schools around the world. He won a major victory for the south in the campaign through his ability to move “invisibly and with remarkable speed.”

“Absolute brilliant campaign”
-Gary Gallagher University of Virginia Historian


Kernstown

Despite having three separate armies all his own forces size closing in on him the campaign started when Jackson, knowing that Lincoln was cautious of D.C, and wanting the insensitive, attacked federal forces at Kernstown. The only battle as commander Jackson would lose in the war tactically, yet it would be a great strategic victory. It started with Jackson surprised the enemy with a fast and unexpected march that he successfully cloaked.

“He had appeared as if from nowhere”
-Federal commander Shields


Jackson was given information from his Calvary that it was only a small union force. Instead when the battle started it was soon found to be he was outnumbered by over 2 to 1. Jackson still wanted to fight. Jackson first outmaneuver general Kimball in a flank movement to occupy Sady Ridge. Jackson had screened the artillery and got to the high ground first. He used the high ground to every advantage for his guns and gave his outgunned artillery the advantage. He also, against conventional wisdom in the early war, massed his artillery for better effect. This would late in the war become the standard of both sides. This forced the federals to attack his infantry behind a stone wall in a elevated defensive position. This gave his smaller command a fighting chance. As the night time approached and a draw was near, the 27th Virginia ran out of ammo on Jackson's flank and without orders to do so, a retreat was ordered that led to his line breaking. This forced him to call a full retreat. Jackson lost tactically but his aggressive move and attack won the south a strategic victory as it pulled troops from the Richmond campaign, the purpose he was in the valley.

“One of the great strategic victories of the early war”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


The battle forced the return of men sent to help McClellan and it forced Lincoln to reorganize the army and form a new department of the Shenandoah. Jackson and his men did not take it as a loss given the numerical superiority of the enemy and that they were not forced to fall back, but ran out of ammo. Jackson said “I think we did very well.” The confederate losses were 718 while federal loses were 590.

“With his ferocious little jab at sheilds in kernstown, he had single handed knocked McClellan offensive off balance”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Foot Calvary

“We must make this campaign an exceedingly active one. Only thus can a weaker country cope with a stronger; it must make up in activity what it lacks in strength. A defensive campaign can only be made successful by taking the aggressive at the proper time. Napoleon   never waited for his adversary to become fully prepared, but struck him the first blow.”
-Stonewall Jackson


After Kernstown Jackson put on a maneuvering display that revolutionized warfare. When generals needed double march they had the men in constant movement all day. Stonewall found that to allow his men rest in the shade for an hour midday at the hottest time, they would actually cover more ground than a straight march though. He would also give small breaks every hour. He also had a great supporting cast around him that he put in place and teamsters that when other column slowed, Jacksons would not. He made quick, smart decisions to avoid delays and overcame difficulties like logs in the road, swollen rivers etc that many other generals could not. Jackson the devout christian, also had his men rest one day a week, increasing overall production.

“The Sabbath is written in the Constitution of man and horses really as in the bible. I can march my men further in a week, marching six days and resting the seventh, and get through in better condition than if I marched them all seven days”
-Stonewall Jackson


But most important men were more willing to march hard for their general if the general had their respect and brought them victories. Jackson showed his men he could and would do just that.

“I yield to no man in sympathy for the gallant men under my command; but I am obliged to sweat them tonight, so that I may save their blood tomorrow.”
-Stonewall Jackson


His men would grow with excitement when they were on the move confident it would lead to victory. They believed he would put them in a place to win, and trusted him to get them out of any trouble.

“Men will follow him to the devil, and he knows it”
-Federal officer

“Most unbounded confidence in him. They say that he can take them into harder places and get them out better than any living man”
-Colonel Sam Tukerson 37th Virginia

“Jackson is perfectly idolized by this army”
-6th Louisiana solider


Not only that but the solider were willing to endure more for a general who equally respected them. Stonewall did not think himself above his common solider. he once said of his soldiers “Who could not conquer with such men as these.”

“His men loved him, not merely because he was the bravest man they had ever known, the strongest, and the most resolute, not because he had given them glory, and had made them heroes whose fame was known beyond the confines of the South, but because he was one of themselves, with no interests apart from their interests; because he raised them to his own level, respecting them not merely as soldiers, but as comrades, Although he ruled them with a rod of iron, he made no secret, either officially or privately, of his deep and abiding admiration for their self-sacrificing valour. His very dispatches showed that he regarded his own skill and courage as small indeed when compared with theirs. Like Napoleon's, his congratulatory orders were conspicuous for the absence of all reference to himself; it was always "we," not "I," and he was among the first to recognise the worth of the rank and file."One day," says Dr. McGuire, "early in the war, when the Second Virginia Regiment marched by, I said to General Johnston, "If these men will not fight, you have no troops that will." He expressed the prevalent opinion of the day in his reply, saying, "I would not give one company of regulars for the whole regiment." When I returned to Jackson I had occasion to quote General Johnston's opinion. "Did he say that?" he asked, "and of those splendid men?" And then he added: "The patriot volunteer, fighting for his country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier upon earth." And his veterans knew more than that their general believed them to be heroes. They knew that this a great, valiant man, this mighty captain, who held the hosts of the enemy in the hollow of his hand, was the kindest and the most considerate of human beings. To them he was "Old Jack" in the same affectionate sense as he had been "Old Jack" to his class-mates at West Point. They followed him willingly, for they knew that the path he trod was the way to victory; but they loved him as children do their parents, because they were his first thought and his last "In season and out of season he laboured for their welfare. To his transport and commissariat officers he was a hard master. The unfortunate wight who had neglected to bring up supplies, or who ventured to make difficulties, discovered, to his cost, that his quiet commander could be very terrible; but those officers who did their duty, in whatever branch of the service they might be serving, found that their zeal was more than appreciated. For himself he asked nothing; on behalf of his subordinates he was a constant and persistent suitor. He was not only ready to support the claims to promotion of those who deserved it, but in the case of those who displayed special merit he took the initiative himself"
- G. F. R. Henderson Stonewall Jackson And The American Civil War



The Shenandoah Valley Campaign Continued

“In a few short months in the shandoah valley, Jackson rewrote military history”
-Bevin Alexander Military historian

“His nature was essentially aggressive. He was never more to be feared than when he was retreating, and where others thought only of strong defensive positions he looked persistently for the opportunity to attack.”
-George Henderson


Following Kernstown Jackson than faked a retreat that led union commander Banks into a trap. Jackson than feinted east on trains from Stanton and “made his command disappear” fooling Banks, Fremont, and Milroy into thinking he left the valley who telegraphed Jackson was “bound for Richmond” and union scouts reported him in six separate locations. He was even lost to his reinforcements who had camped within camp fire light the night before led by an outraged General Ewell. His disappearance stopped McClellan advance, held McDowell near manasas stuck in between defending D.C and helping attack on Richmond and causes reinforcements to leave the valley. His movements helped keep the enemy separated in the valley and Jackson was than able to slip past two union armies and win at the battle of McDowell despite the three larger union armies in the area because

“Sheer speed of Jacksons march, which defined all of the union commands seemingly rational assumptions about what an army could do, or how fast and far it could move”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


He than deceiving Banks once more in a flank attack and captured Fort Royal forcing the retreat of Banks along with capturing numerous prisoners and supply. By

“Making his army disappear, only to reappear where the union command did not expect to see him. Far sooner than Banks, or anyone in Washington believed possible...once again Jackson's brilliance in strategic maneuvers made the fight itself almost an afterthought”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Jackson followed the victory by routed the enemy at Winchester with just 400 causalities yet inflicting 3,500 on the federals and capturing large amounts of supply.

“proved himself to be a man of high military genius”
-Richmond Dispatch


In response Lincoln reinforced the valley and set what seemed to be a sure trap of Jackson, he instead slipped out of the trap to safety.

“If stonewall ever gets so completely surrounded that he cannot get out, he will, take wings unto himself and his army and fly out.”
-Union Surgeon


When everyone thought Jackson would now retreat down the valley with two armies outnumbering him 2 to 1 on his tail, instead Jackson stayed to fight. He won at cross Keyes defeating Fremont's larger force. To than decide once more to attack the next day at the battle of Port republic, another victory against a larger force. He was able to command Ewell to burn the bridges and combine his force for an attack uphill against a defender. This latest victory would send the two union armies sent to destroy Jackson retreating back north of the valley in defeat. Jackson's campaign was successful by keeping own operations hidden, maintained the initiative, his ability to discerned the aims of his opponents, used superior numbers at point of attack, kept the opponents armies separated, transformed slow moving infantry into mobile strike force, masterful use of topography, responded quickly to changing conditions, discerned the key to the enemy's positions, and he hit the enemy where least expected. Jackson put into practice the belief that sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

“Armies are not called out to dig trenches, to throw up breastworks, and live in camps, but to find the enemy and strike him.. to move swiftly, strike vigorously and secure all the fruits of victory, is the secret of successful war”
-Stonewall Jackson


His men in 30 days defeated 3 union armies in five battles causing 5,000 losses on the north to just 2,000 of his own, while capturing large amount of supply. Jackson was able to contain over 70,000 men with his force of under 20,000 for months in the Shenandoah. Jackson also caused Lincoln to send 40,000 more under McDowell and also put a scare into Lincoln and Washington. After the scare he put into Washington mothers in the north put their kids to bed and warned the kids if they were not good, “Jackson would come get them.” His campaign indirectly saved Richmond.

“Richmond would have had little choice but to surrender. That had been the unions grand plan, and Jackson had laid waste to it. In that sense, he had already saved Richmond”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Had those forces not been directed towards Jackson, or had he been defeated. Lee would not have had the opportunity to attack Porter and would have lost Richmond due to the massive enemy force. Had Richmond fallen so early in the war, resistance would drop throughout the south. After the valley Jackson earner the love of the south and respect from his enemies.

“Well sir, when he commenced it, I thought him crazy, before he ended it, I thought him inspired”
-Richard Ewell

“A man of decided genius he overgeneraled all our commanders”
-Federal solider quoted in rebel yell


He was called by northern newspapers “the rebel napoleon” and “The scourge of the north.” He also became a household name across the country and in Europe. Jackson's great leadership won sympathy for the south, from Europe, who admired great generals. European military observers spoke in the highest regard for him as a general with comparisons to napoleon. Newspapers all across Europe printed pieces on the great confederate general. Boys in Europe pretended to be Jackson in the streets. The victories boosted southern national morale at a time they had suffered so many defeats in the west. Jackson had

“Knocked the entire union war plan in the eastern theater off balance and had done it all at a cost of 2,750 men”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014

“With such a leader men would go anywhere, and face any amount of difficulties and for myself, I believe that, inspired by the presence of such a man, I should perfectly invincible to fatigue, and reckon upon success as a moral certainty”
-Garnet Wesley English colonel and future Commander of the British Army



Cedar Mountain

“Jackson's aggressiveness kept Pope continually off balance during the campaign”
-David G Martin The Second Bull Run Campaign


The new aggressive commander of the army of Virginia general Pope set out to destroy the confederate rail junction at Gordonsville wiring Washington it would soon be captured. However Jackson met Banks corps for a battle at cedar mountain. Jackson the artillerist won the artillery duel despite it being a smothbore vs rifled cannon battle. Later during the battle the confederate lines started to break and run for the rear and Jackson grabbed a flag, rode out ahead of his men, while almost being shot and captured, with saber in the air, and yelled out “Jackson is with you...rally, brave men, and press forward. Your general will lead you. Jackson will lead you follow me”

“The effects of his bravery was electric on all the troops of both sides who saw him”
-David G Martin The Second Bull Run Campaign

“Our men followed with a yell and drove everything before him”
-Charles blackford


It was a “miracle” he was not killed as his command came out and got him pulling him back. Union soldiers cheered Jackson's bravery on. One federal prisoner yelled “Hurrah for general Jackson follow your general boys” the prisoner was than released back to union lines. This turned the tide of battle and another confederate victory was had. The USA losses were 2,400 CSA were 1,400.

Second Manassas Campaign Jackson Famous Flank March

“[Jackson] Literally marched circles around popes army...Jacksons bold marches confused pope and were the principle cause of the confederate victory in the campaign”
--David G Martin The Second Bull Run Campaign

“Stonewall Jackson is after him, and the paltry young man who wanted to teach me the art of war will in less than a week either be in full retreat of badly whipped”
-George b McClellan Commander Army of the Potomac


After the victory on the Peninsula Lee sought to maneuver the war into northern Virginia and if possible deal with Pope's army of 73,000 before he could combined with McClellan larger army. Lee would send Jackson on one of the wars great flanking maneuvers. Jackson would march his entire corps of 24,000 men with artillery and wagons 26 miles in 1 day and 50 miles in 32 hours in secrecy. Jackson cut Popes army supply lines forcing Pope to retreat from the Rappahhanock and the Rapidan. These movements ruined the norths plans of a link up, and took away the initiative from the north.

“He who does not see the hand of God in this is blind sir, blind”
-Stonewall Jackson after capturing depot


First he captured Bristole depot with its small garrison. Tore up rail, destroyed rail trains, clogged the track, cut telegraph lines, destroyed bridges and later he captured the massive federal depot at Manassas Junction capturing 300 prisoners 6 cannons while only tacking 4 causalities. This forced Pope to abandon his position and come after Jackson allowing Longstreet and Lee to than safety advance to Jackson.

“Pope was Thoroughly over his head in challenging Stonewall...he had been knocked off first the Rapidan and than the Rappahanock by nothing more than maneuvers deigned by Jackson. Know the enemy occupied his main supply base, and his men were running out of food”
-Bevin Alexander Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson


The aggressive, successful, western commander Pope now Knowing that Jackson was alone and greatly outnumbered him said “we shall bag the whole crowd” at manasas. Instead Jackson destroyed the depot and than disappeared again from pope sight and his scouts.

“Pope was completely bewildered, he had been certain he had Jackson cornered”
-Bevin Alexander Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson

“Jacksons flank march bewilder him”
-Peter Gozzens John popes manasasa Misery Civil war magazine


As more forces came in to reinforce Pope Jackson left general Trinbles division hidden in woods and ambushed union commander Bohlen. Than Jackson had a division hide and ambushed Taylors brigade tacking 200 prisoners and inflicting 150 causalities in 30 min. This caused McClellan to take his time to prepare a full corps to face Jackson and slowed McClellan down so he could not help Pope in the upcoming battle.

“I am afraid of Jackson, he will turn up where least expected”
-George McClellan


Groveton

Jackson had so far destroyed and captured large amounts of supply, forced an army 3 times his size off its river, won 3 small engagements, interrupted the federals plans, prevented the union armies from linking up, outmaneuvered and outfought his opponents, had twice disappeared, and stopped all reinforcements to Pope. His next goal was to draw Pope into a battle to be defeated before he met up with McClellan. However since Jackson had disappeared from Pope he needed to attack to draw Pope into the fight. This was the battle of Groveton a small skirmish with equal causalities [both around 1,200] but Jackson won the field and more important, let Pope know where he was.

“For 24 hours Jackson had been drawing Pope in a noose”
-Bevin Alexander Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson


Jackson than pretended a retreat setting a trap for Pope even though Halleck had warned Pope that Jackson liked to set traps and faked retreated in the valley. But Pope was confident his much larger army would destroy Jacksons command before Lee could arrive.

“I did not see how it was possible for Jackson to escape without very heavy loses, if at all”
-Union Commander John Pope


Battle of Second Mansassas

The main battle started with Jackson command of 22,000 set up behind a unfinished railroad cut and woods. Popes army of 60,000 on the first day tried multiple times to penetrate Jackson's lines that ended in failure. Jackson held his line against a far superior force and inflicted heavy losses. Jackson had organized his reserves in an area that any front line general could call on for help where most needed. So when the few breakthrough that did happen occurred, a massive counter attack would repulse them. Jackson was even able to counter attack and push Popes center back. Day 1 fighting Popes losses were 6,000 while Jackson's just 1,500. Around noon Longstreet and Lee arrived on the battlefield.

Jackson had thought the plan Lee had agreed with was to engage the enemy before they could link up. However Lee had changed his mind to only wanting to displace Pope to northern Virginia since he had the smaller force. Jackson had set up Lee and Longstreet for a perfect opportunity to crush Pope on day 1. Union general George Gordon said “It was fortunate that Jackson was not in command of the confederate forces on the night , for the superior force of the enemy must have overwhelmed us, if we could not have escaped, and escape on that night was impossible.” Escape on day 2 would not be impossible as time would show.

Day 2

On day 2 Jackson pulled his command back into the woods to lure Pope into attacking again further committing his force so Lee could flank Pope. Pope was convinced of Jackson retreat from the field and telegraphed Halleck of the victory. Pope sent his men forward to push Jacksons and what he thought was a small skirmish line turned into bugles blowing advance by Jackson entire corps. Jackson would than fight off Pope for the remainder of the day. This set up Lee and Longstreet perfectly for a day 2 attack into Popes flank. Lee had wanted to avoid the battle as he had the smaller army, but Popes army spent and demoralized from attacks on Jackson and being on popes flank was an opportunity he could not turn down. Popes army demoralized and beaten from attacks on Jackson could not resist Longstreet's attack and gave way giving the south a great victory. However Lee's delay against Jacksons plan, allowed Popes army to escape after nightfall. Jackson had set Lee up for what could have been a decisive victory.

“The number of union causalities, of course, was due to popes numerous disjointed attacks on Jackson's line for two days...Lee would have been able to inflict many more union casultites had darkness not prohibited him from expanding his victory...within a hairs breath of crushing popes entire army”
-David G Martin The Second Bull Run Campaign


Second Bull run was another victory where the union lost the field, equipment, artillery and 15,000 casualties. The south lost 9,500 causalities. It was Jackson who gave the south the victory.

“[Jackson] was perhaps more a hero to Virginians at that time than Lee himself”
-David G Martin The Second Bull Run Campaign

“Longstreet was spoken of reverently, the clear heroes of the day were lee and Jackson”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Second Bull Run/ Chantilly

Following the two day battle Jackson still had cohesion enough to operate a wide flank maneuver that forced Pope to fully retreat to D.C. With a further demoralized army. The aggressive, successful, western republican Lincoln had wanted was than sent to fight Indians in Minnesota after the campaign so out fought was he.

Harper's Ferry/ Antietam campaign

“Jackson displayed his tactical brilliance – perhaps his best tactical plan of the war...part of Jackson’s genius was the improbable midnight marching to places where neither soldier nor cannon dare go....Stonewall’s remarkable tactics dramatically changed the situation for Dixon Miles. During eleven hours of darkness, Jackson had decoyed his enemy; deployed 5,000 infantrymen and 20 cannon on his left flank; and positioned artillery at point-blank range to fire into the ravines. Jackson had out-generaled his opponent."
-Dennis E. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park.

“Harper's ferry was on paper the most comprehensive confederate victory of the war”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Lee decided to invade the north after the victory at Second Manassas. The campaign started with Jackson capturing federal supply at Martinsburg with the help of “Belle Boyd.” Lee than decided he could capture the vital town of Harpers Ferry and than to unite his army in time to face McClellan. So he sent Jackson to commanded the operations against Harpers ferry's mountainous terrain . Jackson devising a flanking attack from three sides captured over 10,000 union soldiers the largest surrender of union forced during the war. Jackson also captured 13,000 small arms, 200 wagons, 73 cannons, as well as large stocks of supplies and much needed food. All while taking less than 300 causalities. It was such a defeat the war department in Washington to try and save face cut the number of losses in half. Two federal prisoners said after the capture of Harpers Ferry

“Boys hes not much to look at, but if we had him, we wouldn't have been caught in this trap”
-Captured union solider at Harpers ferry

“If we had him [Jackson] we should whip you in short order”
-Captured union solider to confederates at Harpers ferry

“Almost the whole mass of prisoners broke over us and rushed the road, they their up their hats, cheered, roared, bellowed, as even Jackson's troops had scarcely ever done”
-South Carolina soldier of union captured


Battle of Antietam

Jackson would meet up with Lee in time for the attack from McClellan. During the battle of Antietam despite the confederates being outnumbered 87,000 to 47,000. Jackson's corps defended the confederate left against 3 federal corps. Bloody and heavy fighting went on for hours and both sides inflicted heavy loses on each other. Jackson skillfully ordered small scale but effective counter attacks against the union lines and concealment of flanking fire. One general said during this the bloodiest battle of the war Jackson “transfigured with the joy of battle” The fighting was desperate for both sides, but Jackson withheld against the heavy attack by the federals, showing as he did at Bull Run. That in defense he could be a “stonewall.”

Covering the Armies Retreat

McClellan pushed the confederates rear and captured 40 artillery pieces after the battle. Lee responded by having Jackson deal with the problem and the result was the battle of Shepherdstown. In this small battle Jackson ordered Hill to attack union forces and Hill pushed back the union advance winning the field by routing union forces while inflicting heavy loses. This battle stopped the union advance and allowed the confederate army to safety retreat back to Virginia.

Fredricksburg

Burnside’s plan for his massive army of 116,683 at Fredericksburg was to hold Longstreet in place at Marye's heights and assault Jackson with a force of 60,000 at Prospect Hill. After the breakthrough at Prospect Hill the attack was to roll up Longstreet. Lee's army of 72,564 sat on great dug in defensive ground. Jackson arrived last of the confederate corps coming from the valley and was not able to prepare his lines as well as Longstreet neither did he have the natural defensive position of high ground and a stonewall as did Longstreet. But In the battle Jackson again defended well against a superior force. He held his artillery fire from engaging the unions and waited for the advancing federals. The fighting was pretty straight forward with Meade making a small breakthrough that was countered by Jackson's reserves. After repulsing the federals Jackson almost countered attacked but decided against it because of the union artillery. The battle was a great southern victory but had more to do with poor union command and the defensive ground, rather than great southern skill. However the confederates should get credit for the placement of their units and especially their artillery. Union losses were 12,500 to southern of 5,000.

Chancellorsville


With Longstreet gone with 2 of Lee's best divisions, and half of Lee's Calvary gone on various missions, it was the perfect time for the army of the Potomac commander Joseph Hooker to attack Lee. Hooker would take his 133,000 man army and move against Lee's reduced army of 60,000. Not only did Hooker enjoy over a 2-1 advantage in manpower, he had over 400 artillery pieces. Hooker split his army in two leaving a sizable force across Fredricksburg in front of Lee, than maneuvering 70,000 men [ more than Lee's army] around Lee's flank. Hookers plan worked perfectly as he “stole a march” on Lee.

“Hookers flanking movement had caught Lee off guard”
--David G Martin The Chancellorsville Campaign

“Fighting Joe...had stolen a march on him [Lee]...brilliantly executed and completely unknown to Lee- who had been fooled by a simple ruse of union signal corps””
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Hooker had placed 70,000 men on Lee's flank without his knowledge. His men and commanders were jubilant and predicted either a complete victory, or the inglorious and know dangerous retreat of Lee's army back to Richmond. The only other option as they saw it was for Lee to attack Hooker on the defensive that they would believe would destroy Lee's army. Never had been the union army in a better position to destroy Lee than know. Lee was simply out of options.

“God almighty will not be able to prevent the destruction of the rebel army...The rebel army is now the legitimate property of the army of the Potomac”
-Fighting Joe Hooker commander of the Army of the Potomac

“This is splendid... we are on Lees flank and he does does not know it”
-George Meade


Lee was in a terrible spot facing an army his size across the river as well as an army larger than his on his flank ready to attack, with no defenses to stop it. So in response to Hooker, Lee decided not to retreat as many union commanders thought he might instead he sent Jackson with 40,000 men to meet Hooker's 70,000 and dig in and defend the flanking attack.

“Jackson's instinct though, was not to sit on the defensive unless he really had to do so”
-David G Martin The Chancellorsville Campaign



70,000 federals coming at the army's flank was not enough for Jackson in command of 40,000 to stop and defend, he had won against such odds before. He told his men who were wisely when outnumbered digging in to put away their tools they were attacking. This would change the whole dynamic of the campaign and give the intuitive to Lee.

“Jackson movements under cover of night and fog, had gone completely undetected and Hookers inelegance still placed the entire 2nd corps on the heights below Fredisburg”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014

“Transformed a desperate situation for the confederacy into an opportunity for a great victory...He was without question a military genius”
-David G Martin The Chancellorsville Campaign


Jackson launched an attack on the federals on the orange Plank Road that would “alter the course of the battle” tacking them completely by surprise while isolated and separated. Jackson was able to keep them separated. Despite being outnumbered the aggressive Jackson was able to get more men at the point of attack [17,000-12,000] and his attack pushed Sykes corps back and started to surround him. Hooker called Sykes back and put his powerful flanking army on the defensive.

“The moral courage of hooker collapsed as soon as he found himself in the actual presence of lee and Jackson”
-Porter Alexander Confederate Artillery officer

“Jacksons name alone may not have been worth 2 divisions, as an observer once suggested, but it was still enough to inspire prudence and caution in even hard fighting men like Jo Hooker”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014


Hooker had given up the initiative to Jackson but still thought victory was assured. He was more than willing to allow Lee to attack outnumbered while his men fought on the ground of their choosing. Hooker also had massive artillery advantage and if Lee was to send more men to the flank, Hookers other army would advance and crush Lee's opposite flank. Lee was still defeated either way in the mind of Hooker. But However had given the initiate to a dangerous enemy, and Jackson would not waste it.


“Jackson excelled at turning the impossible into possible”
--Dennis E. Frye is the Chief Historian at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park


“Never take council of your fears”
-Stonewall Jackson


What Hooker did not imagine was Jackson's planned flank attack. Hooker would not imagine an outnumbered foe to further weaken his front opposite the enemy to march miles away on a flanking maneuver. Jackson's plan involved taking his command around Hookers flank to crush it leaving Lee with only two divisions to defend the immediate front. Lee said to Jackson “General Jackson what do you propose to do” Jackson pointed on the map where he wished to attack, Lee asked how many troops were needed Jackson said “my whole corps” Lee replied “well go on.” Jackson told his men to make “no noise” for the march as he moved on Hookers flank. Reports came in to Hooker during the day of large confederate movements but they were dismissed as the confederates retreating back towards Richmond. To distract from Jackson Lee kept up a heavy skirmish and aggressive stance to keep Hooker in place. Jackson the day before had been on the opposite flank of 70,000 men miles away, he know stood ready and on its flank. Jackson attack completely stunned Hooker within about 2 hours Jackson crushed the entire 11th corps capturing large amounts of supply and pushed Hookers flank back miles in danger of being cut off, while suffering only 800 causalities. Jackson saw this as his greatest military attachment

“The speed and direction of the confederate attack took the 11th corps completely by surprise...it was so sudden and so overwhelming the men whop were there later used storm and avalanche metaphors to describe it”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014


Only darkness saved the federals from being trapped and their road to retreat blocked off. Jackson's flank attack had been a success and great victory but it was not finished. Jackson's plan called for the capture of the federals road to retreat and cutting off another entire corps while forcing the federals to attack Jackson blocking their retreat. However in the night while scouting the ground he was shot by his own men.

“Could I have directed events, I should have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead”
-Robert E Lee letter to Jackson in hospital

“Any victory is a dear one that deprives us of the services of Jackson even for a short time”
-Robert E Lee


Lee was forced to replace Jackson with Calvary general J.E.B Stuart. Lee did not have the confidence in Stuart [or anyone else] to complete Jackson's plan. So instead Lee had Stuart attack federal positions reconnecting the confederate lines. Hooker and the union forces than were able to safety retreat. Chancellorsville was a great confederate victory and Jackson had changed a desperate situation for the south into yet another victory. Despite attacking a army over twice its size, USA losses were 17,287 and CSA loses were 12,821. However the majority of those confederate loses came when Stuart reconnected lines with Lee and when the union captured Fredircksburg. Had Jackson survived and had his plan been fully implemented, it may have ended in another entire union army corps being destroyed and similar confederate loses as the historical battle. Jackson had won another battle for the south.

“I congratulate you upon the victory. Which is due to your skill and energy”
-Robert E Lee Letter to Stonewall in the Hospital


The Death of Stonewall Jackson

“Very good it is alright, it will be an infinite gain to be translated to heaven...I thank God, if it is His will, that I am ready to go. … It is the Lord's Day; my wish is fulfilled. … I have always desired to die on Sunday... Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.
-Stonewall Jackson

"Angels went to receive his body from his grave but he was not there, they left very disappointed but upon return to haven, found he had outflanked them and was already there."
-Northern Newspaper on the death of stonewall Jackson

“Thank God, we shall fear him no more”
-Massachusetts private upon hearing of his death


Jackson, the most famous general of the war at his death, would die soon after the battle and he would be mourned throughout the south. Lee was loved but at this point Jackson was seen as the savior of the confederacy by many. He had earned the respect and admiration of not just the south and Europe, but even through the north as well.

What the Loss of Stonewall Meant to the Confederacy

“The hero of the confederacy Stonewall Jackson had been accidentally wounded by his own men and died a week later. Jackson's loss soured Lees victory, and forced a major reorganization of the army and its command structure. He knew he would have to rely on several untested commanders in key positions. The effects of Chancellorsville would play a key role in the performance of the confederate army at Gettysburg”
-David martin The Chancellorsville campaign

“Who speaks of victory. The word is scarcely herd”
-Maggie Preston after the news of Jacksons death

“Nearly all regard his death as the beginning of the end”
-Jed Hotchkiss


Everyone admits the confederate cause started in a downward spiral after the loss of Jackson, but are they connected? While not entirely I believe they are very much cause and effect. The first major impact is the organization of the confederate army of northern Virginia. If one reads the book by David martin The Chancellorsville campaign you will notice in his chapter how well the confederate army is organized. It is streamlined command with veterans at every position. Jackson and Longstreet complimented each other and Lee could trust Jackson on his own giving Lee flexibility and more options. The whole army was collected into just 2 corps controlled by Jackson and Longstreet. After the Loss of Jackson there was no other commander who could control such a force effectively. Lee was forced to reorganize his entire army.

“Lee trusted Jackson alone of his generals to make his own decisions”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014

”I know not how to replace him, gods will be done”
-Robert E Lee


The effects of this on the performance of the army is often under noticed. Lee had to create 2 new corps under Ewell and A.P Hill, neither performed as well as Jackson. This depleted the talent of the army a great deal. New division commanders were needed to replace them, new commanders also to fill in the newly created corps divisions and brigades etc. In the book Receding Tide Vicksburg and Gettysburg by Edwin C Bearss and J Parker Hills you will find just how much these new commanders lacked experience ,and just how much this effected the performance of the confederate army at Gettysburg. Dozens were stepping into new large command they had never controlled before. The book argues, not directly, that the inexperience and performance of so many new leaders from corps command down to company and regimental, was the cause of confederate failure at Gettysburg.

In a hypothetical Gettysburg with Jackson, Jackson would have been in control of Ewell's men at Gettysburg on day 1. Ewell is heavily criticized for his day 1 action at Gettysburg with many blaming the loss on his actions on day 1 alone. Had Jackson been in command he would have been faster [foot Calvary], more aggressive, and taken cemetery hill as Ewell should have on day 1. As historian Edward Bonekemper said in his C-Span talk The Myth of the Lost Cause said Lees orders to Ewell day 1 were if practabel, take cemetery hill. Had it been Jackson Lee's orders would have been take the hill at all costs. There is no question Jackson would have done so without orders anyways. This would have drastically changed the battle.

“He certainly would have taken cemetery hill, its in Jackson's nature to not stop until hes got every ounce of benefit he could get...but that does not mean Gettysburg would have been a confederate victory, it would have been a brief 3-4 hour engagement"
-Shebly Foote

“Jackson would have held the heights...on the first day”
-Robert E Lee after the war


Had cemetery hill been taken the small union force would have fallen back and the main battle would have been somewhere else. But a better question is would Gettysburg have happened at all. Jackson would have approved an invasion of the north as he had called for multiple times. However had he not died Davis very well have got his plan and sent Jackson away to perhaps break the siege of Vicksburg or go on the offensive in Tennessee. But likely with Lee and Jackson pushing the invasion it would have been granted. It is known Jackson had more sway with Lee than Longstreet. Both Longstreet and Jackson wanted to fight a defensive battle in the north. Jackson invasion plan was to sever the main rail line that connected the east coast from Maine all the way down to D.C. In all likelihood with Jackson and Longstreet pushing the confederate army would have ended up somewhere north of Baltimore possibly as far north as Philadelphia cutting rail and finding a good defensive position with an open flank to counter attack on [Jackson's plan]. This would have forced Meade to attack Lee on his ground and likely defeat for the union. Instead with no Jackson, Lee actually marched south to meet the enemy, somewhat fatiguing his men, to do open battle, the results we all know.

“To his enemies...most threatening of all confederate generals”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Later when Grant came east Grant was able to continuity put pressure on Lee without fear of a counter attack. Had Jackson been their its likely it could have changed the campaign. Jackson's best qualities were being unpredictable, to hit the enemy where they where weak, best flank attacker in the war, and surprise attacks. These were all of Grants weaknesses as he showed t Fort Donaldosn and Shiloh. Grant was a great attacking general but could be caught off guard and not a top notch defender. Jackson's strength would go against Grants weaknesses. Further many of the confederate soldiers has lost their hope with the death of Jackson.

“Men who had fought without flinching up to this time became timid and fearful of success”
-!3th Virginia solider quoted in rebel yell

“Longstreet inspired respect, Jackson fear and aw”
“-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


As James Robertson argues, Lee lost his mobility [the Souths only chance of fighting a larger force] with Jackson gone. Lee could never divide his army after Jackson was killed the tactic that had brought Lee victory multiple times.

“The Long road to Appomattox began on a Saturday night in the dark woods at Chancellorsville”
-James Robertson author of Stonewall Jackson the man the solider the legend

“With his discordance from the scene, the fortunes of the south, like her banner, began to drop”
-John Cooke historian 1865

“With Jackson dead and the south's leadership in the hands of Davis and Lee. Defeat became inevitable”
-Bevin Alexander Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson


Conclusions

“Jackson demonstrated a transcendent superiority over every other general he encountered”
-Bevin Alexander Such Troops as These: The Genius and Leadership of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson

“[Jackson] Dominated the first half of the civil war”
-James Robertson author of Stonewall Jackson the man the solider the myth

“He has envinved more real genius...than anybody on either side”
-New York Times editorial

“In my soldiers heart I cannot but see him as the best solider of all this war, and grieve at his untimely death
-Union general Governer Warren


I believe Jackson was the greatest civil war commander and he saved the confederacy multiple times from what seemed defeat at Bull Run, with his valley campaign, and Chancellorsville. I think he showed Lee how to win and forced Lee to victory at second manasas and Chancellorsville. He showed himself a top notch defender at Bull Run, Second Manasass, Antietam and Fredricksburg. He was a top notch leader and loved by his men. I think he had the correct strategy for the south with fewer men and material. To hit the enemy where they are weak, and to avoid meeting the enemies strength head on in battle. If they are met in battle, hit them as divided smaller sections with your whole force and/or maneuver and force them to attack you on a defensible position and when they are exhausted, counter on their flank. These tactics brought would keep southern causalities low and yet still bring victory. In the valley he was able to accomplish all that he did at a cost of 2,000 men. He was able to destroy the 11th corps at Chancellorsville and change desperation into victory with a loss of only 800 men. He was able to remove a larger army from 2 rivers and defensive positions while luring them in a trap with a flanking march at second mananas. Over and over Jackson showed the south how they could have won.

“It cannot well be denied that Jackson possessed every single attribute which makes for success in war. Morally and physically he was absolutely fearless. He accepted responsibility with the same equanimity that he faced the bullets of the enemy. He permitted no obstacle to turn him aside from his appointed path, and in seizing an opportunity or in following up a victory he was the very incarnation of untiring energy. … A supreme activity, both of brain and body, was a prominent characteristic of his military life. His idea of strategy was to secure the initiative, however inferior his force; to create opportunities and to utilise them; to waste no time, and to give the enemy no rest. ...That he felt to the full the fascination of war's tremendous game we can hardly doubt. Not only did he derive, as all true soldiers must, an intense intellectual pleasure from handling his troops in battle so as to outwit and defeat his adversary, but from the day he first smelt powder in Mexico until he led that astonishing charge through the dark depths of the Wilderness his spirits never rose higher than when danger and death were rife about him. With all his gentleness there was much of the old Berserker about Stonewall Jackson, not indeed the lust for blood, but the longing to do doughtily and die bravely, as best becomes a man.
-George Henderson  in Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War
 

References

--S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014
-Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson Bevin Alexander Berkeley Caliber 2014
-How the South Could Have Won the Civil War: The Fatal Errors That Led to Confederate Defeat Bevin Alexander 2008 Crown Forum
-The Shenandoah in Flames The Valley Campaign of 1864 Thomas A Lewis Time Life Books Alexandria, Virginia
--John J Hennessy The first battle of Manassas Stackpole Books 2015
-Rebel Resurgent Frederiscksburg to Chancellorsville Willliam K Goolrick Time life Books, Alexandria, Virginia William K Goolrick 1985
-Great Campaigns Jackson's Valley Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1994
-Great Campaigns The Peninsula Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1992
-Great Campaigns The Shiloh Campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1996
-Great Campaigns The Second Bull Run Campaighn David G Martin Combined Books PA 1997
-Great Campaigns The Antietam Campaign John Cannon Combined Books PA
-Great Campaigns The Chancellorsville campaign David G Martin Combined Books PA 1991
-Great Campaigns The Appomattox Campaign Chris M Calkins Combined Books PA
-Receding Tide Vicksburg and Gettysburg the Campaigns That changed the civil war Edwin C Bearess and J Parker Hills National Geographic D.C 2010
-Thomas J Rowland George B Mcclellan and Civil war History in the Shadow of grant and Sherman Kent State University Press 1998
--The Confederate war Gary Gallagher Harvard University press 1999 -Battle Tactics of the Civil war Paddy Griffith Yale university Press 1989
-The Civil war Ken Burns PBS documentary
-America's Civil war Magazine http://www.historynet.com/americas-civil-war
-Civil war Trust http://www.civilwar.org/
http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/harpersferry/harpers-ferry-history-articles/harpersferrytriumphfrye.html?referrer=http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=117637
-Still Standing the Stonewall Jackson story Dvd James I Robertson Jr. (Actor), Bill Potter (Actor), Ken Carpenter (Director)
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“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

1stvermont
Vermont, VT, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 80

Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/28/2017 11:12:54 AM
Defending Jackson

Peninsula campaign

The peninsula campaign was by far the worst performance by Jackson of the war. The reason seems to be mental and physical fatigue from fighting in the valley. Jackson had gone 3 night without sleep and slept only 7 hours in the last 4 days while suffering from a sever cold going into the campaign [he would at one point fall asleep against a tree during an artillery dual when he was under fire] In Jackson's defense he never thought Lee should attack in costly frontal assaults on the peninsula. Instead Jackson believe if he had been reinforced in the valley, he could invade into the north and pull McClellan from the peninsula without having to rely on frontal assaults and transfer the war out of Virginia. But he also followed the orders of his ranking officers despite multiple attempt to convince Lee of his plan. Lee's strategy was to meet the enemy on the field of battle, and out maneuver him and if possible, destroy the enemy army. Lee had success with this method but it was not going to win the south the war in the long run. So Jackson was fighting Lee's battle and style on the peninsula.

Jackson the best flank attacker of the war, did not often use frontal assaults other than to hold the enemy. His main tactics were either to hold the center and send a force around the flank. To block the enemy supply, or stand in the way of were they wanted to go and force them to attack you, to than send a counter attack at their flank when they tired and exhausted. Or most important while on attack ,hit the enemy where they are weak. Jackson's ability to use these tactics with great success is what made him successful. These were not the tactics of Lee on the peninsula and not what made Jackson great.

However much of the criticism that he receives from historians seems unjust. When the 7 days campaign was finished, Jackson's reputation in the army and across the south had only improved over the valley campaign. So why is it today he is viewed as performing so horribly by many historians during the campaign? A few reasons. It started badly when Jackson arrived a few days late joining forces with Lee for Lee's first attacks on McClellan. Lee, to fool the union into thinking he was reinforcing Jackson, [a plan that worked] sent troop to the valley. But this slowed Jackson down in arriving back under cover to the Richmond area. He could not find enough rail cars to transport his men. That and he would not move on Sundays, delayed his arrival.

The first criticism is that Jackson missed the battle of Mechanicsville where A.P Hill became impatient and attacked without Jackson [who was suppose to be on the union flank] suffering heavy losses. However Jackson had to contentnd with federal Calvary, that Lee assumed would not be in the area that cut down trees, burned bridges, and harassed his advance slowing him more than Lee had anticipated. Also

“Jackson's difficulties were all routed in some way in general orders no 75. Its vague language and wishful thinking constituted Lee's first big mistake of the war.”
--S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014


Hill attacked and did not contact Jackson while Jackson had sent a curior to General Branch to pass on to Hill telling him he was 6 hours late. Branch for some reason did not pass it on to Hill, who thought Jackson close by and initiated the attack. Lee gave vague orders to Jackson who followed Lee's orders and did not attack. Lee assumed federal commander Porter would fall back given Jackson would be on his flank and did not give orders to Jackson to attack. Lee was working off of faulty maps [of course not knowing it] that actually had Jackson 3 miles away from Porters flank. Lee did not blame Jackson for not attacking given Jackson followed the orders given and the fault was the map.

“Jackson has been criticized through the years by generals on both sides and by historians for failing to arrive on time at mechanichsville and then, when he got there, for failing to attack, even to the point of blaming him for the confederate defeat. Most of this is unfair, he was in a subordinate position, doing what he believed Lee wanted him to do and that did not include attacking any union position. He was indeed late, but he assumed Lee knew that, and in any case his lateness had more to do with Lee's timetable than with his own failure to move his army as quickly as possible. [Jackson himself had suggested at the generals meeting on June 23 that the advance should take place on June 25, but ultimate responsibility for the decision lies with Lee] Though he failed to reach his appointed destination on June 25, Jackson still managed a twenty-five mile march under horrendous conditions in terrain that no one, Lee included, understood “the confederate commanders knew no more about the topography of the country than they did about central Africa” wrote General Richard Taylor....we were profoundly ignorant of the country, were without maps, sketches, or proper guides.”
--S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Gains Mill

At Gains Mill Jackson was delayed in the attack over confusion with his guide. Within a few miles apart there were two town's named Cold Harbor, “old” and “new”, Jackson was unaware of this as was his guide to witch one they were going to. Jackson also followed Lee's orders of where Lee thought the 5th corps would be, however they had fallen back to Gains Mill and this further delayed Jackson. Failed attempt by the confederates to dislodge porter had been attempted for 8 hours. However Jackson joined late in the battle for an evening frontal assault on entrenched enemy of similar size on the high ground. The attack was successful and broke Porters lines in two spots [one under Longstreet section one under Jackson's] and forced his retreat.

Savage Station

Jackson once more is criticized for not showing up to the battle of savage station. Jackson sent word to Magruder that he could not pass the Chickahomy river [bridges burned] at 2pm. At 3pm Jackson received a curior
from Colonel R H Chilton

“The general Comd's requests that you watch the Chickahominy as far as forge bridge, ascertain if any attempt will be made in that direction by the enemy, advise General Jackson, who will resists their passage until reinforced”

Lee was still worried McClellan might reinforce and also make a move on Richmond. So Jackson did as he was told and defended the area.

Glendale

“He was sick with a fever, debilitated, possible dehydrated. He had an absolutely small amount of sleep since June 23”
--S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson


Jackson was so exhausted he fell asleep during an artillery duel and later with a biscuit in his mouth during supper. Jackson was unable to reach the battle [other confederates were not as well in the swampy terrain] he sent word he was stalled at the swamp. Lee never sent back word for him to force a crossing [under artillery fire] and Jackson fell asleep later saying “If general Lee had wanted me, he could have sent for me” but Lee never did. Exhaustion would effect all men at this period of the campaign, Lee fell asleep during the battle of Malvern Hill. Lee suffering from fatigue at one point he asked magruder why he had attacked, he had forgotten he ordered him to attack at Malvern Hill. And Jackson had just finished the valley campaign.

Malvern Hill

The confederates attacked the entrenched federals on perhaps the best defensive ground of the war suffering high losses. Jackson and many of Lee's subordinates objected to an attack being attempted.


Richmond Saved

“Stonewall Jackson here! The genius of our southern cause- its very soul. The magic of that name the prestige of his corps, was such that the most doubting Thomas had no longer any fears”
-Confederate solider upon the arrival of Jackson on the peninsula


Simply being their in name and force did help Lee win the vital strategic victory on the peninsula and pushed McClellan back towards the coast Saving Richmond from intimidate danger. Possibly the greatest strategic victory of the war for the south. The victory was celebrated around the south and boasted morale of the nation and confidence in Lee as a general. After the peninsula Lee did not have a negative view of Jackson and promoted him.

Defense at Frericksburg

Jackson has been criticized for not defending as well as Longstreet section at fredricksburg since part of his line temporarily broke. However Longstreet arrived first on the field with Lee, and Lee than sent for Jackson in the valley after Burnside had gotten a step on Lee. Longstreet had the better ground and stone wall to defend as well as more time to prepare and inspect his lines. Jackson's line was broke in a section that A.P Hill was in charge of who failed to deploy men in a 200 yard section thinking it unusable by attacking enemies. Jackson did not have the time to inspect his whole defense before the battle and trusted Hill who said his section was secure and was an elite division commander. Jackson's first line did break in that unguarded section and nearby flanks when the attack was made by mead, but Jackson has set up in a “deep” formation with ¾ of his command in reserve to counter any breaks as he did at fredricksburg driving back Meade. In his section Jackson suffered 3,4000 causalities while the federals lost 5,000 and Jackson repulsed the attack.

“Mead's breakthrough had offered the illusion that Jackson could be brook on prospect hill when, I fact, the federals never had much of a chance”
-S.C Gwynne Rebel Yell The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson Simon and Schuster 2014

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“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

Phil andrade
London, UK
top 5
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/28/2017 12:33:22 PM
Thanks, 1stvermont, for a fascinating, controversial and compelling survey.

Much to talk about here.

Had I circumstances that allowed, I would devote an hour to discussing this with you and fellow forumites....sad to say, domestic commitments prevent me for the time being.

1stvermomt, first rate contribution !

Regards, Phil
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1stvermont
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/28/2017 1:58:40 PM

Quote:
Thanks, 1stvermont, for a fascinating, controversial and compelling survey.

Much to talk about here.

Had I circumstances that allowed, I would devote an hour to discussing this with you and fellow forumites....sad to say, domestic commitments prevent me for the time being.

1stvermomt, first rate contribution !

Regards, Phil
--Phil andrade



Thanks for the comments sir. I surely expect much disagreement coming my way. I would suggest you need to put your priorities in the right order lol. I tell the wife she will be dead and forgotten, but the history of the civil war will live on. I do hope that you do get some time to comment as they are always great and improve my understanding as well.
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Phil andrade
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/29/2017 4:17:22 AM
A distinctly odd fellow : eccentric is a word that fits.

Something of Old Testament fire and brimstone emanates from his image, and from anecdotes about him.....in the tradition of Oliver Cromwell or Orde Wingate.

Cromwell wrote after the English Civil War's bloodiest battle God made them as stubble to our swords : that manner of expression applies to Jackson two hundred or so years later.

Beloved of his men ? I would say more admired than loved. He was notorious for harsh discipline He would shoot a man at the drop of a hat : more than that, he would drop the hat himself ! . That saying, I believe, emanated from his approach to military discipline.

He had a penchant for putting his officers under arrest : he was more than harsh on poor old Dick Garnett after Kernstown, and his conduct smacks of something aspergic.

Forgive me if I question your citation of the casualty exchange rate he achieved defending the Railroad Cut at Second Mannassas : he probably did suffer fifteen hundred casualties there on 29 August, but I'm pretty sure that the balance of slaughter was more even than the six thousand yankee figure you allude to.

With those quibbles, I whole heartedly endorse his reputation as one of the phenomenal men of military history, and worthy of the word genius.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

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1stvermont
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/29/2017 5:44:09 AM

Quote:
A distinctly odd fellow : eccentric is a word that fits.

Something of Old Testament fire and brimstone emanates from his image, and from anecdotes about him.....in the tradition of Oliver Cromwell or Orde Wingate.

Cromwell wrote after the English Civil War's bloodiest battle God made them as stubble to our swords : that manner of expression applies to Jackson two hundred or so years later.

Beloved of his men ? I would say more admired than loved. He was notorious for harsh discipline He would shoot a man at the drop of a hat : more than that, he would drop the hat himself ! . That saying, I believe, emanated from his approach to military discipline.

He had a penchant for putting his officers under arrest : he was more than harsh on poor old Dick Garnett after Kernstown, and his conduct smacks of something aspergic.

Forgive me if I question your citation of the casualty exchange rate he achieved defending the Railroad Cut at Second Mannassas : he probably did suffer fifteen hundred casualties there on 29 August, but I'm pretty sure that the balance of slaughter was more even than the six thousand yankee figure you allude to.

With those quibbles, I whole heartedly endorse his reputation as one of the phenomenal men of military history, and worthy of the word genius.

Regards, Phil


--Phil andrade


I think your correct on what you say of Jackson as a man, especially his treatment of Dick Garnett. For that reason I think he would not have made as good an army commander as a corps commander. As for the losses defending the railroad cut they came from Such Troops as these The Genius and Leadership of confederate General Stonewall Jackson Bevin Alexander Berkeley Caliber 2014 page 166. I just checked he did not give a reference only the numbers. It was the only refrense i could find on the fighting of day 1 and took it and ran with it. I will of course correct it if it is false.
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Phil andrade
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 10/29/2017 6:35:39 AM
Jackson's Corps suffered 4,518 casualties in the fighting of 27 August to 1 September 1862.

The two smaller but extremely fierce encounters at Groveton on 28 August and Chantilly on 1 September accounted for two thousand of these, leaving 2,500 for the main battle of 29 and 30 August, and, yes, I would attribute the greater part of those to the earlier of those two days : fifteen hundred sounds right.

Longstreet's corps reported 4,668 casualties, and Stuart's cavalry 234.

To attribute 6,000 Federal casualties to Jackson's fight on the 29th would leave too few yankee victims of the second day, let alone the thousands who were cut down or captured by Longstreet's juggernaut attack on the 30th.

The reports of the battle of the 29th indicate extremely hard and effective fighting by the Union troops, who put the rebels under great pressure and actually broke into their defences at a place known forever after as Groveton's Cut, named after the commander who made the breach. The damage inflicted was, I think, much more evenly divided than the four to one exchange implied by the source you allude to.

I cannot vouch for the true number of yankee casualties inflicted by Jackson's men that day, but I doubt it was more than double those sustained by the men who defended at the Railroad Cut.

This is guesswork on my part, I confess.

Edit : not sure if it was Grover's Cut or Grover's Gap ; it was a section known as " The Dump" in the Railroad Cut.

Another edit : I have to acknowledge that Pope himself wired Halleck to offer a review of the fighting of 29 August, and declared that he had suffered at least eight thousand casualties : a figure that is hard to reconcile with the official returns given the length of the battle....but that is what he stated, and I'm at a loss to account for such a figure, save for the probability that Pope magnified the business in character with his generally " puffed up " approach. It's significant, for example, that he reckoned the enemy had lost twice as many men, judging by the appearance of the field.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

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John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/6/2017 7:09:05 PM
1stVermont,

The general Comd's requests that you watch the Chickahominy as far as forge bridge, ascertain if any attempt will be made in that direction by the enemy, advise General Jackson, who will resists their passage until reinforced”

Lee was still worried McClellan might reinforce and also make a move on Richmond. So Jackson did as he was told and defended the area.

The order isn't for Jackson but for JEB and the Cavalry who if they find a major force are to "advise General Jackson" and he will hold the line until the rest of the army comes to reinforce. A copy has to go to Jackson letting him know of JEB's mission and Jackson's responsibility to support if there is a major force on the flank. JEB found nothing so Jackson had to responsibility to support.

As for Malvern Hill it was both Jackson and Longstreet who believed that there was a possibility that Confederate artillery could be placed so as to silence the Union artillery on the hill with a converging fire. The problems was Pendleton with the Reserve Artillery was nowhere to be found and neither Jackson or Longstreet could get more than 2/3 batteries into action at the same time.

Also at Fredricksburg Jackson's "first line" didn't break Meade's Division hit a swampy spot that had no troops defending but both flanking units had refused their flanks and Maxcy Gregg's South Carolina Brigade defending the rear exit of the swampy ground. If anybody broke it was Greeg's Brigade in the second line with Early's Division counter-attacking. I believe the flank Brigades in the "first line" were Archer's and Field's. IMHO it was a trap to funnel the Union attacking troops into a funnel with defensive fire coming from 3 sides.
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/6/2017 7:17:12 PM
Phi,

See my post about Fredricksburg and Meade's attack. I think Jackson laid two similar "traps" at Second Manasas with the "Dump" being one of them. My idea is that he's inviting the attack to go there knowing that movement and coordination is going to be hard slowing the attack and breaking up formations while subjecting the attackers to fire from advantageous defensive positions. The second trap would have been the swampy ground in front of Thomas's position with Gregg on the one flank.
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1stvermont
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/7/2017 5:15:03 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

The general Comd's requests that you watch the Chickahominy as far as forge bridge, ascertain if any attempt will be made in that direction by the enemy, advise General Jackson, who will resists their passage until reinforced”

Lee was still worried McClellan might reinforce and also make a move on Richmond. So Jackson did as he was told and defended the area.

The order isn't for Jackson but for JEB and the Cavalry who if they find a major force are to "advise General Jackson" and he will hold the line until the rest of the army comes to reinforce. A copy has to go to Jackson letting him know of JEB's mission and Jackson's responsibility to support if there is a major force on the flank. JEB found nothing so Jackson had to responsibility to support.

As for Malvern Hill it was both Jackson and Longstreet who believed that there was a possibility that Confederate artillery could be placed so as to silence the Union artillery on the hill with a converging fire. The problems was Pendleton with the Reserve Artillery was nowhere to be found and neither Jackson or Longstreet could get more than 2/3 batteries into action at the same time.

Also at Fredricksburg Jackson's "first line" didn't break Meade's Division hit a swampy spot that had no troops defending but both flanking units had refused their flanks and Maxcy Gregg's South Carolina Brigade defending the rear exit of the swampy ground. If anybody broke it was Greeg's Brigade in the second line with Early's Division counter-attacking. I believe the flank Brigades in the "first line" were Archer's and Field's. IMHO it was a trap to funnel the Union attacking troops into a funnel with defensive fire coming from 3 sides.
--John R. Price


On fredricksburg. true the line did not break, A.P hill thought it unpassable and meade showed otherwise. I dont think it was a trap in any way, i just think like at second manasas his left a large reserve to counter any break that would happen.


Malvern hill, this is not inconstant that when he was there and when it was decided by Lee the attack would happen, he would adds his input. I was saying he did not think the campaign should have happened in the first place but rather to pull them by reinforcement in the valley.


I will look into my source on the orders on the peninsula.
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“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

Michigan Dave
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/7/2017 5:25:04 PM
What would Stonewall say?


[Read More]
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/7/2017 10:41:57 PM
1stVermont,

But AP Hill didn't site the line at Fredricksburg Jackson and his chief engineer did and AP Hill didn't decide on how large the reserve or where it would be placed.

Malvern Hill is the last battle of the Seven Days the campaign in the "Valley" was before the Seven days so as to keep reinforcements from the AOP basically besieging Richmond. The Seven Days lifted the siege. Jackson was all in favor of the Seven Days Campaign. Reinforcing the 'Valley" at that point isn't going to pull any Union troops from Malvern Hill.

Why check you sources just read how the order is worded. The order is to JEB with a copy to Jackson to inform him of JEB's mission and the possibility that he "MIGHT" be needed if JEB finds anything. The reality is the order has to go through Jackson because JEB is operating in concert with Jackson guarding Jackson's flank. To get to JEB the messenger has to pass through Jackson's lines.
---------------
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"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/7/2017 11:53:46 PM
Dave that doesn't belong here, move to CW Politics or Current Events
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/8/2017 5:12:24 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

But AP Hill didn't site the line at Fredricksburg Jackson and his chief engineer did and AP Hill didn't decide on how large the reserve or where it would be placed.

Malvern Hill is the last battle of the Seven Days the campaign in the "Valley" was before the Seven days so as to keep reinforcements from the AOP basically besieging Richmond. The Seven Days lifted the siege. Jackson was all in favor of the Seven Days Campaign. Reinforcing the 'Valley" at that point isn't going to pull any Union troops from Malvern Hill.

Why check you sources just read how the order is worded. The order is to JEB with a copy to Jackson to inform him of JEB's mission and the possibility that he "MIGHT" be needed if JEB finds anything. The reality is the order has to go through Jackson because JEB is operating in concert with Jackson guarding Jackson's flank. To get to JEB the messenger has to pass through Jackson's lines.
--John R. Price


So i looked up the refrense regarding the stuart command. The order to Stuart [who passed it on to jackson]continues ..advising general Jackson, who will resist their passage until reinforced"


Agreed. But I said in my op how jackson argued [many times] to be reinforced in the valley so as to invade Maryland and hope to pull mac from the peninsula, much how second manasas did before the peninsula campaign started.


I have reread on fredicksburg and know think you might be correct. Hill left the gap in the rugged terrain and jackson was informed and inspected it but not till the 12th with little time for major adjustments before the battle. and jackson said "the enemy will attack here"

that seems to support his knowing and perhaps setting a trap as well as you suggested.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/8/2017 6:45:39 PM
1stVermont,

But you are using the order as a excuse for Jackson's inaction saying he was ordered to basically guard the flank and not force a crossing of the river and support the attack of the rest of the army. Do you now agree that Jackson was at fault for not supporting the attack of the rest of the army? That he was given a major role and he failed to carry out his orders?

But Jackson didn't have the logistical capacity for anything more than a raid into Maryland and a raid wasn't going to change the strategic situation. And Lee nor anybody else in Richmond had the ability to greatly reinforce in manpower or logistics unless the strategic situation changed greatly, I. e. Little Mac was defeated and thrown off the Peninsula first. Quite frankly Jackson was talking out of his ass and being completely unrealistic in his assessment of his capabilities and the resources available to the Confederacy.

Hill didn't leave the gap because Hill didn't place the troops Jackson did. Jackson and his staff inspected the ground before the troops were placed and the lines sited.
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/9/2017 5:03:25 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

But you are using the order as a excuse for Jackson's inaction saying he was ordered to basically guard the flank and not force a crossing of the river and support the attack of the rest of the army. Do you now agree that Jackson was at fault for not supporting the attack of the rest of the army? That he was given a major role and he failed to carry out his orders?

But Jackson didn't have the logistical capacity for anything more than a raid into Maryland and a raid wasn't going to change the strategic situation. And Lee nor anybody else in Richmond had the ability to greatly reinforce in manpower or logistics unless the strategic situation changed greatly, I. e. Little Mac was defeated and thrown off the Peninsula first. Quite frankly Jackson was talking out of his ass and being completely unrealistic in his assessment of his capabilities and the resources available to the Confederacy.

Hill didn't leave the gap because Hill didn't place the troops Jackson did. Jackson and his staff inspected the ground before the troops were placed and the lines sited.
--John R. Price


I was more interested in jackson [than my opinion] on the peninsula and what caused his actions. He followed the letter of the order passed on to him. Lee had multiple issues during the campaign with his orders [he was learning to wield a large army in unfamiliar territory with poor maps and guides] to various generals and this continued later in the war.


its all guess work but jackson thought if he was reinforced to 40,000 he could invade and knowing Lincolns panic with d.c thought he could pull mac from the peninsula rather than frontal 20,000 losses to do it.


could you support that hill did not place his own division at fredricksburg.

---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/9/2017 6:19:45 PM
1stVermont,

No he did not follow the letter of the order. The letter of the order was he was to resist if JEB found anything and when Jackson got the order JEB had already scouted the area and there were no Union troops there to resist against. With no Union troops there to attack him he was to force a crossing and support the attack of the rest of the army.

No it isn't "guess work." Jackson didn't have the logistical capacity to support the troops he had on that type of offensive let alone 40,000 more and Richmond didn't have 40,000 troops to give him. Basically your saying leave Richmond undefended when Little Mac is knocking on the back door.

Try DH Hill's account for confirmation of who sited the lines. Plus with due respect Jackson reported to Lee on the 29th and Lee and Longstreet had been in the area for a week before that Lee, Longstreet, Jackson and their engineers and staffs wouldn't have scouted the entire area for lines of defense. That gave Jackson and staff basically two weeks to scout the area for defensive positions. The whole idea that it was a rush to pick a line and get into position is fantasy.
---------------
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"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


1stvermont
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/10/2017 5:29:47 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

No he did not follow the letter of the order. The letter of the order was he was to resist if JEB found anything and when Jackson got the order JEB had already scouted the area and there were no Union troops there to resist against. With no Union troops there to attack him he was to force a crossing and support the attack of the rest of the army.

No it isn't "guess work." Jackson didn't have the logistical capacity to support the troops he had on that type of offensive let alone 40,000 more and Richmond didn't have 40,000 troops to give him. Basically your saying leave Richmond undefended when Little Mac is knocking on the back door.

Try DH Hill's account for confirmation of who sited the lines. Plus with due respect Jackson reported to Lee on the 29th and Lee and Longstreet had been in the area for a week before that Lee, Longstreet, Jackson and their engineers and staffs wouldn't have scouted the entire area for lines of defense. That gave Jackson and staff basically two weeks to scout the area for defensive positions. The whole idea that it was a rush to pick a line and get into position is fantasy.
--John R. Price



I guess we will have to disagree on what this meant

advising general Jackson, who will resist their passage until reinforced"


but Lee himself did not blame jackson.


I dont want this thread to turn into jackson planned invasion that did not happen. However if you are a student of lee and jackson you know they wanted the initiative. Jackson if reinforced, would have possibly taken the inventive and forced mac to react to his invasion, that was the plan. Mac likley would not have pushed Lees reduced force [lee had over 100,000 most at any time of the war at one point] given his intelligence and lack of aggression. Lincoln fear for d.c likely would have made him pull troops from mac to guard d.c. jacksons valley campaign already did this, he just wanted to enlarge the campaign.


if it is fantasy it is a popular fantasy from my readings. not saying you cant be right, just please support it.


---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/10/2017 6:37:18 PM
1stVermont,

"advising general Jackson, who will resist their passage until reinforced" means that if JEB finds a major Union force on Jackson's flank he will advise/infirm Jackson that they are there and Jackson will form a line and hold that line/resist that force's attempt to get in the rear of the army. When the order arrived JEB had already scouted the entire area, father that the order specified I will add, and found NO MAJOR UNION FORCE THERE. What the hell else do you think it means, sit on your ass all day and forget the previous orders given?

Then why does Jackson get ranked after Longstreet. Longstreet's date of promotion was one day earlier than Jackson's.

Lee never had 100,000 men. Maybe if you include Jackson's command of 17,000 Lee might have come close to 90,000. And you are forgetting that there were 52,000 troops confronting Jackson in the Valley plus another 20,000 plus in West Virginia and another 25,000 plus in Northern Virginia and the Washington area. There were 40,000 in Johnston's Army of the Potomac and 15,000 in Magruder's Army of the Peninsula and 15,000 was added in two Divisions, one from North Carolina and one from South Carolina after Lee took command after Seven Pines. There was never 100,000 troops ever concentrated in any army of the Confederacy.

Support it try the Official Records, Freeman, Rhea, Longstreet, Early, DH Hill, Venable, Taylor or any number of unit history's off the top of my head.
---------------
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1stvermont
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/10/2017 9:12:50 PM

Quote:
1stVermont,

"advising general Jackson, who will resist their passage until reinforced" means that if JEB finds a major Union force on Jackson's flank he will advise/infirm Jackson that they are there and Jackson will form a line and hold that line/resist that force's attempt to get in the rear of the army. When the order arrived JEB had already scouted the entire area, father that the order specified I will add, and found NO MAJOR UNION FORCE THERE. What the hell else do you think it means, sit on your ass all day and forget the previous orders given?

Then why does Jackson get ranked after Longstreet. Longstreet's date of promotion was one day earlier than Jackson's.

Lee never had 100,000 men. Maybe if you include Jackson's command of 17,000 Lee might have come close to 90,000. And you are forgetting that there were 52,000 troops confronting Jackson in the Valley plus another 20,000 plus in West Virginia and another 25,000 plus in Northern Virginia and the Washington area. There were 40,000 in Johnston's Army of the Potomac and 15,000 in Magruder's Army of the Peninsula and 15,000 was added in two Divisions, one from North Carolina and one from South Carolina after Lee took command after Seven Pines. There was never 100,000 troops ever concentrated in any army of the Confederacy.

Support it try the Official Records, Freeman, Rhea, Longstreet, Early, DH Hill, Venable, Taylor or any number of unit history's off the top of my head.
--John R. Price



will resist their passage until reinforced- it does not say resists an attack if it is their and move along. as i said in my op Lee was still worried McClellan might reinforce and also make a move on Richmond. So Jackson did as he was told and defended the area.


my guess, Lee favored Longstreet more at this point or maybe had had greater seniority i am not sure. longstreet performed well during the campaign. the fact is lee did not blame jackson, there were many others lee could have chose but he knew what he had in jackson and the peninsula was not the horrid performance by jackson as often portrayed.

i dont care to get into jacksons proposed invasion at this point i think this thread offers enough to disuse of actual history and him as a general.


without support here i must go with my sources.
---------------
“The CSA congress can have no such power over states officers. The state governments are an essential part of the political system, upon the separate and independent sovereignty of the states the foundation of the confederacy”
-1864 Virginia supremeCourt

John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/10/2017 9:26:28 PM
1stVermont,

I'm saying this with as much respect as I can. When you challenge me to support something I get a little agitated because you haven't supported anything you've had to say about any Confederate officer you've written about. If you want to comment with any authority on any officer in the Army of Northern Virginia you have to start by reading Douglas Southall Freeman. Start with "Lee's Dispatches to Jefferson Davis 1862-1865," then the four volume "R. E. Lee: A Biography" and then the classic three volume "Lee's Lieutenants; A Study in Command." Just about everything you've cited as your sources especially the "Classic Campaign Series" is IMHO basically entry level overviews. That's the start and my first read of them was in the late 70's and I've read all multiple times since. Then there is so much more to keep adding information that one lifetime isn't enough to read it all. For 30 plus years I've been trying to read a book a week and I'm not even close to reading all I want.
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"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
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Re: Arguing for Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson the Best General of the Civil wa
Posted on: 11/10/2017 9:36:03 PM
1st Vermont,

Well your take is wrong. There was no force trying to pass so who's he supposed to resist and if there is nobody trying to pass then there will be no reinforcements coming to his aid.

Yes it was a horrid preformence by Jackson. His fatigue is a good excuse but he was the reason for all the frontal attacks because he was supposed to be the flanking force most of the time and he was continually late.

You are the one who brought it up in the first place.

see what I have to say about your sources in my above post. Very limited.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


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