Episode 109

Stonewall Jackson: The facts you didn't know

🎙️

Travel back in time with a vivid account of General Stonewall Jackson's battlefield tactics and leadership during the Civil War, highlighting key moments like the Battles of Bull Run and Antietam.

Hosts Scott and Jenn delve into Jackson's earlier life, his contributions, and how he gained his iconic nickname. They also discuss his untimely end after being fatally wounded at Chancellorsville, and his enduring legacy. The episode includes listener feedback, recounts various historical anecdotes, and explores Jackson's complex relationship with the institution of slavery.

🚕 Google Maps: Visit Oak Grove Cemetery at 314 South Main Street, Lexington, VA

🎥 How to visit Stonewall Jackson

00:00 A stone wall at Manassas

02:09 Introduction

05:23 Who was Stonewall Jackson?

15:24 A crack in the stone wall at Antietam

21:47 It all falls down at Chancellorsville

32:56 Oak Grove Cemetery

-------------------------------------------------------

Want to support the team?

You can buy us a coffee here ☕️

-------------------------------------------------------

Explore more of our Walk with History media productions

📧 contact: talkwithhistory@gmail.com

Transcript
Scott:

The air hung heavy with the acrid scent of gunpowder

Scott:

and the screams of the wounded.

Scott:

Private John Blake gripped his musket tighter, his knuckles white.

Scott:

The Confederate line was faltering and the Union troops were pressing forward.

Scott:

Panic bubbled in his chest, but then he saw him, General Thomas J.

Scott:

Jackson, standing firm as a rock amidst the chaos.

Scott:

Jackson.

Scott:

Clyde in his usual faded frock coat and slouch hat surveyed the

Scott:

battlefield with a calm determination.

Scott:

Bullets whizzed around him, but he seemed impervious.

Scott:

His unwavering resolve inspired the wavering Confederate soldiers

Scott:

and they rallied behind him.

Scott:

Suddenly, General Bernard B., another Confederate leader, cried

Scott:

out, pointing towards Jackson.

Scott:

Look, men, there is Jackson standing like a stone wall.

Scott:

His voice boomed over the din of the battle, echoing through the ranks.

Scott:

Rally around him!

Scott:

Found the Virginians.

Scott:

The quote there is Jackson standing like a stone wall had an electric effect.

Scott:

It perfectly captured Jackson's unwavering presence and served as a

Scott:

rallying cry for the Confederates.

Scott:

John emboldened by Jackson's leadership and Bee's words poured

Scott:

another shot down the barrel of his musket and let loose another volley.

Scott:

As the smoke cleared.

Scott:

John saw B fall mortally wounded, but Jackson Unfazed stepped forward.

Scott:

His roar echoed bees call Rally around the Virginians.

Scott:

John and his fellow soldiers surge forward, a renewed sense

Scott:

of purpose coursing through them.

Scott:

They push back the Union forces in securing a vital

Scott:

victory for the Confederacy.

Scott:

News of Jackson's heroism spread like wildfire throughout the South.

Scott:

Newspapers hailed him as a Stonewall, a steadfast and

Scott:

immovable force on the battlefield.

Scott:

The nickname stuck, and Thomas J.

Scott:

Jackson became forever known as Stonewall Jackson.

Scott:

Track 4 effects Stonewall jackson gravesite: Mhm.

Scott:

Welcome to Talk With History.

Scott:

I am your host, Scott, here with my wife and historian, Jen.

Scott:

Hello!

Scott:

On this podcast, we give you insights to our history inspired world travels,

Scott:

YouTube channel journey, and examine history through deeper conversations

Scott:

with the curious, the explorers, and the history lovers out there.

Scott:

Now, Jen, we are back.

Scott:

back from a little bit of a break.

Scott:

At least this is the first podcast that I will publish after,

Scott:

after a little bit of a break.

Scott:

And one of the things that I asked in the teaser to this episode was for folks

Scott:

to kind of write in about and tell us what their favorite podcast episode was.

Scott:

And so we had a new patron, new patron member, Larry Myers.

Scott:

He wrote in I'll kind of summarize his email.

Scott:

He said, you asked for a question about our favorite episode of Talk with History.

Scott:

That's a very hard question.

Scott:

Thank you, Larry.

Scott:

Being from the Cleveland area, I loved the Lakeview one, but

Scott:

also loved the Arlington ones.

Scott:

The Arlington ones I think are some of our favorites, but my pick

Scott:

is the Strong Vincent podcast.

Scott:

I am in the middle of reading a book about him and he's becoming one of my

Scott:

favorite leaders from from the Civil War.

Scott:

So I thought that was really cool because you are such a strong Vincent advocate.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So much so, I think we've talked about this before, when you, if you go into

Jenn:

stores in Gettysburg, and you ask for like a shirt with Strunk Benson on it,

Jenn:

if they're a true Civil War buff, they'll know exactly who and why I'm asking for

Jenn:

that, but they don't really carry it.

Jenn:

But you'll find Chamberlain on almost everything.

Jenn:

And, uh, I'll say it before I say it again, Chamberlain wouldn't be who he

Jenn:

was, wouldn't have stood that position without strong Vincent putting him there

Jenn:

and telling him to stand, hold the line.

Jenn:

So I find it great to remember him.

Jenn:

He lost his life at Gettysburg.

Jenn:

Doesn't get to tell his story and has no descendants because

Jenn:

his daughter also died young.

Jenn:

So, I feel like it's our job as historians to kind of tell their

Jenn:

stories and he's one of them.

Jenn:

And yeah, I just, I will, I'm proud to talk about Strong Vincent and I'm

Jenn:

glad that people are, it's resonating with people and that means a lot.

Jenn:

So thank you,

Scott:

Yeah, yeah.

Scott:

So thanks for writing in.

Scott:

And again, if anybody else is listening you can either write into us, there's

Scott:

always a link in the show notes, or really if you're listening, one of the things

Scott:

that we're hoping to that our audience can help us out with his followers.

Scott:

So if you know someone that enjoys, or if you enjoy these podcasts, and you know

Scott:

someone else that might enjoy some kind of history and travel oriented podcasts

Scott:

like ours, please share it with them.

Scott:

So, Jen, we are upgrading the format.

Scott:

I'll say upgrading the format of this podcast episode.

Scott:

In the beginning, as the podcast, The listener will have just heard we're kind

Scott:

of doing, I'm starting to put in some kind of story vignettes to kind of really

Scott:

give a feel for the person, place or thing that we're, we're talking about.

Scott:

And so we're talking about Stonewall Jackson and he kind of

Scott:

got his initial fame at Manassas, but before we start getting into

Scott:

that part of his life, once you.

Scott:

us a little bit about who stonewall jackson was before

Scott:

he was stonewall jackson.

Jenn:

Sure.

Jenn:

I mean, before he was Stonewall Jackson, he was just a Virginia boy.

Jenn:

He's born in what is now West Virginia at the time, Virginia,

Jenn:

and his parents die young.

Jenn:

He's poor.

Jenn:

He wants to go to a military academy.

Jenn:

He gets into West Point because it's, you know, as it is still today,

Jenn:

it's paid for by the government.

Jenn:

If you go to a service academy, he's class of 1846.

Jenn:

So he's born in January of 1824.

Jenn:

four.

Jenn:

So he's graduating at 22 years old.

Scott:

So so he's And and I don't think I to be honest

Scott:

never really thought about it.

Scott:

So he's basically career military his whole life So he never really

Scott:

he wasn't like one of those who?

Scott:

Was a farmer or this that and the other he as a young kid wanted to be A soldier and

Scott:

went to west point and that's what he did.

Scott:

He did his entire

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

And he's teaching at VMI for 10 years.

Jenn:

It's from 1851 to 1861.

Jenn:

We just called up to for the civil war,

Scott:

Wow So he that's right because he did some time You served, got out.

Scott:

That's when he went to go teach at VMI.

Scott:

That's right.

Scott:

And then at VMI, then the Civil War kicks off and like, Hey, Thomas J.

Scott:

Jackson, because he didn't have the moniker

Jenn:

you know?

Scott:

Right now, was he, didn't he kind of have a reputation at VMI?

Scott:

I thought like he had his reputation being very strict.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Jenn:

It says he served in the United States army during the Mexican American war.

Jenn:

So he did, he was in one conflict and it's in Mexico that Jackson

Jenn:

will first meet Robert E.

Jenn:

Lee.

Scott:

Okay.

Scott:

So he actually met him, While he was during basically his initial

Scott:

term of, of, commissioning before he, before he got off of, you know,

Scott:

what we would call active duty.

Scott:

So that's what he was fighting in the Mexican American war.

Scott:

And that's when he met

Jenn:

It's when he met Lee and he has an interesting event that

Jenn:

happens in the Mexican American War.

Jenn:

He got what he felt was a bad order to retreat and he felt that if he

Jenn:

would have retreated his troops, it would have been more hazardous and

Jenn:

it would have claimed more lives.

Jenn:

So instead he stands his ground and he doesn't retreat and he confronts

Jenn:

his superiors later with his choice to stay and that judgment proves correct.

Jenn:

And he was able to And, and holding that ground, they were

Jenn:

able to fight off the enemy.

Scott:

so it was a little bit of a preview of what he did during

Scott:

the Civil War consistently.

Jenn:

So.

Jenn:

It just showed his strength of character.

Jenn:

He just shows that he was able to like go up against what he thought was a, you

Jenn:

know, a superior officer in rank and, and, and prove his rationale for staying.

Jenn:

So again, it's just a, it's a taste of.

Jenn:

Jackson.

Jenn:

Then he goes to VMI.

Jenn:

He's accepted there as a teaching position.

Jenn:

He becomes professor of natural and experimental philosophy or

Jenn:

physics and instructor of artillery.

Jenn:

Jackson was disliked as a teacher.

Jenn:

They nicknamed him Tom fool,

Scott:

That's what I was thinking

Jenn:

believing Jackson could never be anything more than a,

Jenn:

a half soldier, half preacher.

Jenn:

Like he wasn't really tested.

Jenn:

It was like somebody who, uh, do as I say, not as I do, what

Jenn:

those who can't do, teach.

Jenn:

Right?

Jenn:

That kind of that

Scott:

interesting that, that he, that he had that reputation of VMI

Scott:

and then became this shining icon.

Scott:

later on, uh, during the Civil

Jenn:

And they say when students would ask for explanation about

Jenn:

something, he wouldn't explain it.

Jenn:

He would just repeat what he said slower.

Scott:

Really?

Scott:

How interesting.

Jenn:

So that was the other thing that bothered students, which I

Jenn:

think gave him that nickname fool.

Jenn:

And things like that.

Jenn:

So, but that's, like I said, at VMI is where he has his home.

Jenn:

If you want to visit the Stonewall Jackson house, that is in Lexington, Virginia,

Jenn:

because VMI is in Lexington, Virginia.

Jenn:

So you can visit.

Jenn:

And that's the only home he ever owned.

Jenn:

And that is still a museum there.

Jenn:

Yeah.

Scott:

I just thought that was such kind of an interesting chapter of

Scott:

his life for someone who's, who's so well known for what he did,

Scott:

you know, as a general, right.

Scott:

In the Confederate army.

Scott:

And kind of everybody sees and thinks of him as this career soldier.

Scott:

And he was because he was at VMI, right.

Scott:

It is a little bit, but he wasn't continuously serving.

Scott:

So it's, it's just interesting.

Scott:

It's different for someone like that.

Jenn:

And so, like you said, his reputation is going to precede himself.

Jenn:

What I want people to know about Jackson, though, is the way I

Jenn:

understand Jackson, the way I think of Jackson is it's very difficult when

Jenn:

you think of the Civil War and you think of Lee to not think of Jackson.

Jenn:

His first right hand man general, Stonewall Jackson.

Jenn:

Like even when we think of Grant, you're like, Oh, who's his right hand man?

Jenn:

Could it be McClellan?

Jenn:

Could it be Sherman?

Jenn:

Sherman proves himself in the march to Atlanta,

Scott:

But there's no name that really is, is as

Jenn:

but Jackson proves himself from the very beginning of the civil war.

Jenn:

So much so that he's a threat throughout the civil war and by his

Jenn:

own folly, he's, um, distinguished, but his fire is put out.

Jenn:

But even later in life, General Patton will have two pictures on his desk.

Jenn:

It'll be Jesus and, and Stonewall Jackson, right?

Jenn:

And he would tell Eisenhower, I'm your Jackson, right?

Jenn:

And people would tell MacArthur, I'm your Jackson.

Jenn:

Like people would distinguish themselves to these great generals as

Jenn:

I want to be your Stonewall Jackson.

Jenn:

That's

Scott:

I, I'm your go to.

Scott:

I, I am your set it and forget it.

Scott:

I will, I will get the job done.

Jenn:

And as much as like.

Jenn:

We don't want to give a lot of credit to the confederacy and give them

Jenn:

any accolades for their strategic battle maneuvers or anything

Jenn:

like that Stonewall Jackson was what made Lee so Successful and

Scott:

that, and that kind of started from the beginning.

Scott:

At

Jenn:

Exactly, and that is where you career soldiers, even World War II, who

Jenn:

will refer to Jackson as a right hand man.

Jenn:

Because when we talk about Jackson's demise, Lee will say he lost his right

Jenn:

arm, because he feels like he did.

Jenn:

And that, and honestly, there's a lot of people who believe maybe the Confederacy

Jenn:

wouldn't have fallen if, Jackson.

Jenn:

You can conjure up anything that never happened, of course.

Jenn:

But this is where Jackson gets the myth and this lost cause scenario.

Jenn:

And he kind of lives today in that.

Jenn:

I don't want him to make him bigger than what he really is, but

Jenn:

I want people to understand how he's seen in the military mindset.

Jenn:

And he was that strategic military leader.

Jenn:

Did not have that reputation at VMI.

Jenn:

But what I think happened, and, As a former military soldier and you, former

Jenn:

military soldier, I think what happened with Stonewall Jackson is in his first

Jenn:

test at the Battle of Bull Run, he really put his teaching into action.

Jenn:

I really think he's, he was so well versed in military maneuvers and

Jenn:

teaching it, that now he has a chance to practice it against the North.

Jenn:

That's not really ready.

Jenn:

for a conflict and that they have not been tested and they have not been practicing.

Jenn:

He can put these ideas and maneuvers into action.

Jenn:

If,

Scott:

interesting and I'm glad you brought up kind of what he did in the

Scott:

Mexican American war because Having been through something like that.

Scott:

I know people I've served with people who've had similar experiences not

Scott:

like that in battle, but something where they stood up for what

Scott:

they thought or knew was right.

Scott:

Everybody else disagreed with them.

Scott:

And in the end, it came about that they were actually right.

Scott:

And what that does is that kind of solidifies something in you that

Scott:

says, okay, I've done this before.

Scott:

I was right when everybody else thought I was wrong.

Scott:

I'm confident in my decision making and my approach to things

Scott:

because I, I I've done it before.

Scott:

And so that had, And my guess is his experience previously before VMI

Scott:

further, you know, kind of gave him that, that, that boldness that he was known for

Scott:

of holding the line and really being out there when, when it came to the civil war.

Scott:

So it's, it's interesting to kind of see that, see that arc from early in his

Scott:

career to when he really gained his fame.

Jenn:

if you make a choice like that as a military person, right?

Jenn:

And you're proven right.

Jenn:

It's a great thing.

Jenn:

If you're proven wrong, that's it.

Jenn:

Your career is And you're You know, you'll be lucky if you

Jenn:

get an honorable discharge.

Jenn:

So to be proven right, it does solidify something.

Jenn:

I think it makes you braver in testing out those tactics again, because

Jenn:

anytime you're in battle, you're going to be, it's just the fog of battle.

Jenn:

You're going to be scared.

Jenn:

You're going to be nervous.

Jenn:

You're going to be not sure if you're making the right

Jenn:

decisions, especially as a leader.

Jenn:

And so for him to do it again, battle, bull, run, we have

Jenn:

an entire video from there.

Jenn:

This is where he's going to get that name, Snowball

Scott:

Yeah.

Scott:

So he, he gets that name at Bull Run, right.

Scott:

And then kind of really starts gaining some fame, especially through the South.

Scott:

Gets the reputation even, uh, even in the North, right, for kind of

Scott:

the fierceness of his fighting.

Scott:

And then another time, you know, and we'll kind of go quickly through his,

Scott:

his career during the Civil War, but at Antietam, he is really kind of one of the

Scott:

reasons that the Confederacy essentially like doesn't win, but doesn't lose, right.

Scott:

They kind of, they held at Antietam.

Scott:

Two years, two long, bloody years since the chaos of bull run.

Scott:

Private John Blake, his uniform now a faded reflection of its

Scott:

former glory, crouched behind a crumbling stone wall at Antietam.

Scott:

The air vibrated with the relentless roar of musket fire.

Scott:

Unlike Bull Run, here, the fight felt different.

Scott:

No clear lines, just a swirling vortex of death.

Scott:

John's heart hammered a frantic rhythm against his ribs.

Scott:

He missed the sight of Stonewall Jackson.

Scott:

The man who had become a symbol of confederate defiance.

Scott:

Jackson, rumor had it, was delayed, capturing some damned federal outpost.

Scott:

John couldn't help but feel a tremor of fear.

Scott:

Without Jackson's stoic presence, the line felt brittle, easily shattered.

Scott:

Suddenly, a ragged cheer erupted from the confederate right.

Scott:

John craned his neck, squinting through the smoke.

Scott:

There, amidst the carnage, stood Stonewall Jackson, his

Scott:

weathered face etched to black.

Scott:

With a grim determination, a sense of relief washed over John.

Scott:

It was as if a dam had held and a surge of renewed confidence ran

Scott:

through the Confederate ranks.

Scott:

John watched mesmerized as Jackson surveyed the battlefield.

Scott:

He pointed parked orders and within moments, Confederate reinforcements were

Scott:

streaming toward a particularly felt.

Scott:

Fierce union assault.

Scott:

John could almost hear Jackson's voice a steady counterpoint to

Scott:

the symphony of destruction.

Scott:

It was a far cry from the booming rally, cry of bull run.

Scott:

Yet it had the same unwavering resolve, but Antietam was a different beast.

Scott:

The day bled into a horrific stalemate.

Scott:

John, his ears ringing, his body screaming in protest, loaded

Scott:

and fired until his limbs ached.

Scott:

Each time he glimpsed Stonewall Jackson directing troops with the same unwavering

Scott:

determination, a flicker of hope rekindled as the sun dipped down below the

Scott:

horizon, casting long shadows across the battlefield, littered with dead and dying.

Scott:

The Union attack finally faltered.

Scott:

John slumped against the stone wall, his body spent.

Scott:

He saw Stonewall Jackson on a nearby rise, surveying the carnage.

Scott:

The man looked older, wearier, yet his eyes still held that same steely glint.

Scott:

John knew the battle wasn't a decisive victory, but they had held, and that, in

Scott:

this bloody hell, felt like a triumph.

Scott:

As John drifted into an uneasy sleep, he thought of Stonewall Jackson as a symbol

Scott:

not just of defiance, but of resilience.

Scott:

A quality John desperately clung to in the face of an uncertain future.

Jenn:

So, Jackson is the reason for the stalemate, because it was

Jenn:

looking like a Confederacy loss.

Jenn:

And, uh, he comes, he comes in, gets there and holds the line.

Jenn:

And again, so many casualties that they both kind of just,

Scott:

Yeah, I mean the bloodiest, the bloodiest

Jenn:

But he's battle so many casualties that they just kind of haven't

Jenn:

say just they just stop fighting

Scott:

they're just like, we can't do this

Jenn:

Yeah, and they clean up their men right because it's like

Jenn:

piles So and that's that's where Lee really starts to see like this

Jenn:

man can't be It can be replaced.

Jenn:

It's a bull run that he is on his horse and he doesn't move from

Jenn:

the artillery fire and he doesn't move his men and another general

Jenn:

will rally his men around Jackson.

Jenn:

He'll point to him and say, you know, look at Jackson standing like a stone wall,

Scott:

rally, rally around the

Jenn:

rally around the Virginians.

Jenn:

And so that's where he gets his name.

Jenn:

Now, I.

Jenn:

I, again, this is another movement that could have been a folly

Jenn:

because to not move during artillery is also as smart as it dumb.

Jenn:

Like at that time, the aim isn't great.

Jenn:

So you're really calling it 50 50 if they can hit you anyway to move, you

Jenn:

might be moving into fire to stand still.

Jenn:

You might be, so you might be worry free.

Jenn:

He was worry free.

Jenn:

He never got hit.

Jenn:

So it became like almost a legend.

Scott:

and that's what you know that the listeners now as we kind of make our

Scott:

way through the podcast They've they've heard the couple, you know, probably

Scott:

act one and act two by now and they've heard you know in in these vignettes,

Scott:

there's a private John Blake, right that I'm writing in here and In that story

Scott:

that we're telling through this podcast is there is a lot of hope and confidence

Scott:

that is built up from all the soldiers into this one entity, because they're

Scott:

just like he seems to just just just He's blessed in some sort of way, right?

Scott:

And they're not thinking of it in People have to realize that when

Scott:

you're in the thick of battle, you're not thinking about the larger picture

Scott:

You're trying to stay alive and you're trying to you know, get the fight

Scott:

the other side back so that you don't die That's the quick and short of it.

Scott:

They're not thinking about oh Is it overall about the economy

Scott:

or about slavery or anything like or anything else like that?

Scott:

They're thinking I got to kill the other guy So the other guy doesn't

Scott:

kill me and when you have someone like that That's just seems to Not get hit

Scott:

by any sort of bullet anywhere anytime and succeed almost everywhere that

Scott:

inspires a lot of confidence And so that's what's kind of gaining momentum

Scott:

throughout the war all the way up through Antietam Even though it's a stalemate.

Scott:

It still is kind of The confederacy kind of feels like it's still semi a win

Scott:

because they almost should have lost.

Jenn:

Yeah, and he has some big victories, right?

Jenn:

The Battle of Fredericksburg, that's a Confederate victory.

Jenn:

That's because of Jackson.

Jenn:

They held off a strong Union assault against the right flank.

Jenn:

So he's getting a lot of notoriety.

Jenn:

Battle of Chancellorsville.

Scott:

Now, Chancellorsville, that's, that's more towards the end.

Scott:

So he actually won that.

Scott:

But that was, that was kind of when his, his light started to go out.

Scott:

So tell us about that.

Jenn:

Jackson is proving to be effective.

Jenn:

He's, you know, Lee is very satisfied with Jackson's, actions.

Jenn:

Chancellorsville is going to be a confederate victory, but this is where

Scott:

Sergeant John Blake stood among the weary victors at Chancellorsville.

Scott:

The victory felt hollow.

Scott:

Whispers of a friendly fire incident involving Stonewall Jackson

Scott:

had turned into a grim reality.

Scott:

Jackson, the man who had inspired John at Bull Run and bolstered his

Scott:

spirit at Antietam, lay wounded.

Scott:

The camp was shrouded in a heavy silence.

Scott:

A stark contrast to the usual celebratory cheers that followed a victory.

Scott:

Days bled into each other, filled with a tense anticipation that gnawed at John.

Scott:

He, along with many others, found himself drawn towards the makeshift hospital.

Scott:

A constant vigil kept for any news.

Scott:

Rumors swirled, some hopeful, others grim.

Scott:

John remembered the unwavering figure of Jackson at Antietam,

Scott:

his voice a beacon in the storm.

Scott:

Now that beacon flickered weakly.

Scott:

One day, the news arrived.

Scott:

Carried on the hushed tones of a medical officer, amputation.

Scott:

John's gut clenched.

Scott:

Snowmobile Jackson, the man seemingly impervious to bullets, had lost an arm.

Scott:

It felt like a betrayal of their collective.

Scott:

To faith, a symbol of their own vulnerability.

Scott:

John pictured Jackson, the man who embodied Confederate resilience, and

Scott:

wondered how he would weather this storm.

Scott:

Days later, another blow.

Scott:

Pneumonia.

Scott:

John felt a cold dread settle in his stomach.

Scott:

The whispers grew louder, filled with a morbid certainty.

Scott:

Finally, the news came crashing down.

Scott:

Stonewall Jackson was dead.

Scott:

John stood numb, the cheers of victory from just a week ago

Scott:

echoing hollowly in his memory.

Scott:

The camp was plunged into a deep morning.

Scott:

John watched as the once vibrant general was laid to rest.

Scott:

A sense of emptiness gnawing at him.

Scott:

He had lost more than a leader, he had lost a symbol.

Scott:

A man who embodied the spirit of the Confederacy.

Scott:

As the army prepared to move on, John found himself

Scott:

lingering by Jackson's grave.

Scott:

He looked at the fresh mound of earth.

Scott:

A stark reminder of their shared mortality.

Scott:

Stonewall Jackson was gone but his legacy remained, a legacy etched not just in

Scott:

victories but in his unwavering spirit.

Scott:

John straightened his shoulders, a newfound resolve hardening in his eyes.

Scott:

They would fight on for Jackson, and for themselves, but a question

Scott:

lingered in the back of his mind.

Scott:

Could the Confederacy, without its Stonewall, stand against the

Scott:

relentless tide of the Union?

Jenn:

Samuel Jackson is going to be injured and injured

Jenn:

to the point of amputation.

Scott:

Right.

Scott:

So he's kind of basically, like, kind of walking his lines.

Scott:

With, with some men.

Scott:

And I think some of the, there's a unit from North Carolina.

Jenn:

Yes.

Jenn:

So it's May 2nd, 1863.

Jenn:

He's, he's kind of like you said, he's going between these

Jenn:

lines, checking the night, right?

Jenn:

Making sure people kind of like bedded down for the night, but

Scott:

on his troops.

Jenn:

where the lines are.

Jenn:

And they, yes, I think it was a group from North Carolina who think that

Jenn:

their union And fire upon them and they have to yell at them to stop.

Jenn:

And I want to stress that men died.

Jenn:

It wasn't just Stonewall Jackson got hit in the arm, that a couple men died.

Jenn:

I tried to find their names.

Jenn:

I wanted to know more about those men who died.

Jenn:

It's hard to figure out even those men.

Jenn:

If you listen to this and you're like, I know those men who were killed,

Jenn:

write it and let us know because I really have tried to look that up

Jenn:

and find the men who were killed.

Jenn:

Because I think it would even be an urban legend to be like, I, my family member

Jenn:

was one of the members who were killed when Stonewall Jackson's arm was hit.

Jenn:

So his arm was hit in three

Scott:

It says left

Jenn:

His left arm, halfway between the elbow and the shoulder, his

Jenn:

wrist and the palm of his right hand.

Jenn:

So we actually got the right hand was hit too.

Jenn:

And it basically shattered.

Jenn:

Between that halfway point between the elbow and the

Jenn:

shoulder, it shattered the bone.

Jenn:

And so Hunter McGuire, who we visited his grave, Dr.

Jenn:

Hunter McGuire is the one who amputates his arm on the battlefield there.

Jenn:

Now, as they are carrying him with the stretcher, they drop

Scott:

That's right.

Scott:

You talked about that

Jenn:

and it's a very high drop and he can't brace himself because one arm

Jenn:

shattered, the other arm's been shot and they say his chest hit some rocks.

Jenn:

be important because he's going to develop pneumonia and his lungs are injured.

Jenn:

And usually that is, that's the most telltale sign of pneumonia.

Jenn:

If your lungs are so injured that they can't take a full breath.

Jenn:

And so they sit with the virus in them.

Jenn:

That's how pneumonia can be fatal.

Jenn:

And so, because you might ask, well, how does he die from arm amputation?

Jenn:

So many people have limbs amputated during the Civil War and they don't

Scott:

That, that was part of it.

Jenn:

That was, it was the pneumonia that actually kills him.

Jenn:

He's weakened by

Scott:

Yeah, because if I remember right, because we've made videos before.

Scott:

We've made probably two or three videos about Stonewall Jackson.

Scott:

Where his arm was and where he died and

Jenn:

Yeah, we take you to where he was shot, to where the arm was

Jenn:

amputated, to where the arm is buried, L word, and then to where he's buried.

Jenn:

We also take you to where Hunter McGuire is buried, the.

Jenn:

doctor who performs the amputation.

Jenn:

So he's he shot on May 2nd, like late at night, his arm is amputated like the

Jenn:

early morning hours of May 3rd, 1863.

Jenn:

So he's been fighting for two years, almost two years.

Jenn:

He gets the name Stonewall in July of 1861.

Jenn:

It's almost two years later that he's, you know, this is South is really, pushing,

Jenn:

and I would say winning at this point.

Jenn:

And his, uh, it happens quickly.

Jenn:

May 2nd, he's shot.

Jenn:

May 3rd, it's amputated.

Jenn:

A chaplain will come and once he's given last rights to people and he sees

Jenn:

that Stonewall Jackson's arm has been amputated and asks, where is his arm?

Jenn:

And they say it's out in the pile.

Jenn:

He's able to decipher which one is his.

Jenn:

He takes the arm back to his brother's farm, which is not

Jenn:

far from where it's amputated.

Jenn:

And

Scott:

I think it's like a mile or two.

Jenn:

see our video, it's his plantation, Elwood, they have names

Jenn:

and he buries the arm in their family cemetery and the arm will stay there.

Jenn:

And what's interesting is that house actually becomes a headquarters for Grant

Jenn:

during one another civil war battle.

Jenn:

And little do they know that Stonewall Jackson's arm is in the graveyard.

Scott:

30 yards

Jenn:

30 yards away.

Jenn:

Like, I just found that so fascinating, but that's beside the point.

Jenn:

So eight days later, he's going to die of pneumonia and we've gone to that

Jenn:

places where it's called Giddy Station and it's right off the interstate.

Jenn:

They have signs says Stonewall Jackson death site.

Jenn:

It's the Chandler home.

Jenn:

Also another plantation off a railroad track.

Jenn:

There was like a back house office space and that's where

Jenn:

Stonewall Jackson is buried.

Jenn:

put a nurse, Hunter McGuire, still with him.

Jenn:

He'll pass on May 10th, 1863.

Jenn:

And he gets, his wife is able to get there.

Jenn:

His second wife is able to get there before he passes.

Jenn:

He's delirious.

Scott:

giving orders.

Jenn:

orders to A.

Jenn:

P.

Jenn:

Hill.

Jenn:

And then he like gets a peaceful look on his face and says, let's go rest amongst

Jenn:

the trees and let's go across the, like the brook and rest amongst the trees.

Jenn:

Like those are his final words.

Jenn:

And then he.

Jenn:

Passes.

Jenn:

And then his body is taken to Richmond, Virginia to lay in state.

Jenn:

It's capital of the South.

Jenn:

And then he's further taken on to Lexington to be buried.

Jenn:

His wife never wants to disturb the arm.

Jenn:

She felt because it was given a Christian burial that the arm should stay.

Jenn:

The arm has gotten a legend of its own.

Jenn:

So if you want to see our arm video, it's,

Scott:

I'll I'll link that in the show

Jenn:

it's had some history through the years.

Scott:

yeah.

Scott:

Marines have allegedly buried, unburied, dug it up and stuff like that.

Jenn:

people have guarded it.

Scott:

crazy.

Jenn:

But there is a stone there.

Jenn:

So that's kind of neat to

Scott:

But we actually visited, so our video for this was actually because we

Scott:

visited his true grave site in Lexington.

Jenn:

So in Lexington, Virginia, again, there was a This is where VMI is.

Jenn:

This is where Stonewall Jackson's house is.

Jenn:

I want to also stress Stonewall Jackson wasn't enslaver.

Jenn:

He had six slaves who worked in his home.

Jenn:

But again, his story gets complicated because it's actually run today

Jenn:

by an African American woman.

Jenn:

And Stonewall Jackson was known more to the African American people in

Jenn:

Lexington than they said he was even known to the white people in Lexington.

Jenn:

Because he was so adamant on teaching Sunday school and the black church and

Jenn:

he, the six people who lived in his home, people asked to be bought by him,

Jenn:

African American slaves, because he would let you work towards your freedom.

Scott:

Oh, interesting.

Jenn:

if you work for him, you could earn your freedom.

Jenn:

He was, he was big into that.

Scott:

So, and, and that's, I love that you bring this up because again, we always

Scott:

talk about context, but this is the, the shades of gray that is history, right?

Scott:

People like this, they have a reputation in the easiest thing for the human brain

Scott:

to do is to categorize a group of people into whatever sort of category, right?

Scott:

Hey, the South, the Confederacy, they were fighting for to keep slavery.

Scott:

It's a lot more nuanced, and there's many shades of gray, and so many so that

Scott:

different states had different takes on that, different cities within those

Scott:

states had different takes, different people within those cities and states

Scott:

had different takes on that, and this is a good example of someone like Stonewall

Scott:

Jackson who's such a, an iconic figure when you start talking about the South,

Scott:

the Civil War, and the Confederacy, There's a lot of shades of gray, and

Scott:

I bet a lot of people probably don't, didn't know that that was his approach to,

Scott:

those he had enslaved, was he was letting them work towards freedom, educating,

Scott:

teaching Sunday school, stuff like that.

Jenn:

It's one of those things that it's, it's still, it's still enslavement.

Jenn:

There's nothing, there's no breaking that, but the different levels.

Jenn:

of abuse, mentally and physically, where Stonewall Jackson is at.

Jenn:

It just, to me, it's surprising.

Jenn:

And it's just something, it's the truth of history, which is

Jenn:

the most important thing to us.

Jenn:

And we want you to know the truth.

Jenn:

And again, you decide how you feel about that.

Jenn:

But that's the truth of how he, uh, what he did.

Jenn:

Was connected to slavery and that story is told at the Stonewall Jackson house

Jenn:

it'll tell the story of those six people who lived there and What their lives were

Jenn:

like so he's brought back to at the time Presbyterian Cemetery and it was named

Jenn:

that when it first opened and was built.

Jenn:

It's in, it's 314 South Main Street in Lexington, Virginia.

Jenn:

And a group of Presbyterian church was there.

Jenn:

And so that was their cemetery.

Jenn:

So Presbyterian cemetery, that's where his first wife is buried.

Jenn:

She dies in childbirth with their son, and she's buried, holding their son.

Jenn:

So he's been buried there.

Jenn:

And it's not until about 30 years later, that Edmund Ballantyne, Edward B.

Jenn:

Ballantyne, so.

Jenn:

double B, right, Edward V.

Jenn:

Valentine, who also sculpts the Robert E.

Jenn:

Lee sculpture that's over his grave, sculpts the statue of Stonewall Jackson,

Scott:

that's the one that's in the cemetery

Jenn:

the one in the cemetery.

Jenn:

And when that sculpture is made, which again, it was 1895.

Jenn:

So, About 30 years after his death, 32 years, his body is moved.

Jenn:

So when you see our video and I'm showing you, this is the original

Jenn:

grave of Stonewall Jackson.

Jenn:

He's now at this other location.

Jenn:

When you walk into what is today Oak Grove Cemetery, there's a

Jenn:

path straight to his statue.

Jenn:

It's like the center and it's a circle.

Jenn:

So you kind of walk in a circle around the statue and.

Jenn:

His body was moved in 1895 underneath that statue, but it's

Jenn:

not just him who's buried there.

Jenn:

It's his first wife with a stillborn child.

Jenn:

She was moved.

Jenn:

Then his second wife, she was moved because she had died

Jenn:

before the statue was made.

Jenn:

And then his second wife, infant daughter.

Jenn:

He has two daughters by her.

Jenn:

One dies as an infant.

Jenn:

She's buried there.

Jenn:

Then his older daughter, she dies in her twenties, but she's able to have,

Jenn:

she gets married and has children.

Jenn:

So she's buried there with her husband, which I always think is funny.

Jenn:

The poor dude, uh, William Edmund Christian, like people

Scott:

in the

Jenn:

forever in the

Scott:

Stonewall Jackson.

Jenn:

don't know me at all.

Jenn:

He's buried there.

Jenn:

And then their second son, who is Thomas Jackson Christian.

Jenn:

is buried there.

Jenn:

And then there's a little like cenotaph, which is basically like a memorial,

Jenn:

a memorial marker to remind you of someone or in memory of someone.

Jenn:

His son, who fought in World War II, who they believe is buried somewhere

Jenn:

in France, or died somewhere in France.

Jenn:

There's a cenotaph to him there.

Jenn:

So his entire family plot has been moved there.

Jenn:

But the original graves of the first wife, the original graves of Stonewall

Jenn:

Jackson and his infant daughter who who died young and his second wife.

Jenn:

Those original graves are still there.

Jenn:

So I show you those and then I'll show you the plot as it is today.

Jenn:

Now, they're gonna change the name to Stonewall Jackson

Jenn:

Memorial Cemetery in 1949.

Jenn:

So that's almost 60 years after or 55 years after the statues put up.

Jenn:

I think because the statue, if you walk there, is the centerpiece of the cemetery.

Scott:

is.

Scott:

And it's a draw.

Scott:

It's a public draw.

Jenn:

a public draw.

Jenn:

But then in 2020, they've changed it to Oak Grove.

Jenn:

And they said because the original Presbyterian church would meet under an

Jenn:

oak there before they built the church.

Jenn:

So it's gone through three name changes now.

Jenn:

But it's Oak Grove Cemetery today in Lexington.

Jenn:

And when we were there, there were a bunch of lemons

Scott:

yeah, that was, that was interesting

Jenn:

of his grave.

Jenn:

And there's like, again, urban legends that Stonewall Jackson

Jenn:

always would be sucking on lemons.

Jenn:

He loved the taste of them.

Jenn:

He considered it a luxury.

Jenn:

He did it for health, for scurvy.

Jenn:

Uh, But historians have uncovered that he didn't like lemons

Jenn:

any more than any other fruit.

Jenn:

And it was just one of those things, if you could get fruit during a battle, you

Jenn:

would eat any fresh fruit you could get.

Jenn:

And so sometimes people would see him with lemons, but they saw him with

Jenn:

oranges and cherries, and it would just happen to whatever fruit he could have.

Jenn:

So it wasn't like he liked lemons anymore, but it became an urban legend.

Scott:

And you see lemon, they were, there were actually lemons.

Scott:

That is

Jenn:

It was actually Lemon's Head is Grave, and I had people ask me

Jenn:

about the Lemon's Head is Grave.

Jenn:

I, and I, I joke about it in the video, and I will say the

Jenn:

obvious, the statue does have two

Scott:

That's right That's right.

Scott:

You do.

Scott:

You do.

Scott:

You do say that.

Scott:

And we actually got some comments on that.

Scott:

So it is a beautiful cemetery and there are actually some interesting.

Scott:

graves that were there.

Scott:

And if you're curious about some of those other kind of notable

Scott:

graves that were there, I encourage you to go watch our video.

Scott:

And again, I'll link it in the show notes.

Scott:

Or you can find it, I think, potentially at, at our website, talkwithhistory.

Scott:

com for this episode.

Scott:

So it was neat to go there cause Lexington is very, kind of

Scott:

really feels like old Virginia.

Scott:

There's so much that's there, right?

Scott:

VMI is there and, and all this stuff.

Scott:

And it was just, you Neat because it's not it's not one of the more

Scott:

touristy parts of Virginia Because it's not on the coast, right?

Scott:

So it's it's a few hours inland.

Scott:

It was just a beautiful city We kind of enjoyed ourselves there.

Scott:

I think we were at that we were without the kids for this

Scott:

trip So it was a ton of fun

Jenn:

I do want to say Lee's last words.

Jenn:

When Lee first found out that Stonewall Jackson's arm had been

Jenn:

amputated, he sent a message saying, give General Jackson my affectionate

Jenn:

regards, say to him, he's lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.

Jenn:

When he learns of Jackson's death, he said, I have lost my right arm

Jenn:

and I'm bleeding at the heart.

Scott:

interesting

Jenn:

And that will be.

Jenn:

The result of this death is Lee will never find another general who can

Jenn:

meet that demand like Jackson could.

Jenn:

He there really put to the test at Gettysburg, which will be about

Jenn:

two months later after this death.

Jenn:

And we've talked about this before the, the South was doing so well.

Jenn:

They're advancing so far into the North.

Jenn:

They're stopped at Gettysburg.

Jenn:

People always wonder what would have been like if Lee had Jackson there, because

Jenn:

his generals just can't hold the line and they just folly right and left.

Jenn:

And it's a, it's a.

Jenn:

Total Union victory and the South will retreat and continue to retreat

Jenn:

for the last two years of the war.

Jenn:

So this is this is it when you think of the switch of the North of the South's

Jenn:

momentum This is the moment and this is why we talk about Jackson This is why

Jenn:

we want to know the truth about Jackson.

Jenn:

And this is why we covered him on Walk with History.

Scott:

Anybody who studies any sort of military history knows

Scott:

that that leadership really does matter It really does matter.

Scott:

Thank you for listening to the Talk With History podcast and please reach out

Scott:

to us at our website, talkwithhistory.

Scott:

com.

Scott:

But more importantly, if you know someone else that might enjoy this

Scott:

podcast, please share it with them.

Scott:

And I really do want to emphasize that share this podcast because

Scott:

word of mouth is really the best way to get podcasts to grow.

Scott:

Shoot them a text, tell them to look us up.

Scott:

We rely on you, our community to grow, and we appreciate you all every day.

Scott:

We'll talk to you next time.

Jenn:

Thank you

About the Podcast

Show artwork for Talk With History: Discover Your History Road Trip
Talk With History: Discover Your History Road Trip
A Historian and Navy Veteran talk about traveling to historic locations

About your hosts

Profile picture for Scott B

Scott B

Host of the Talk With History podcast, Producer over at Walk with History on YouTube, and Editor of TheHistoryRoadTrip.com
Profile picture for Jennifer B

Jennifer B

Former Naval Aviator turned Historian and a loyal Penn Stater. (WE ARE!) I earned my Masters in American History and graduate certificate in Museum Studies, from the University of Memphis.

The Talk with History podcast gives Scott and me a chance to go deeper into the details of our Walk with History YouTube videos and gives you a behind-the-scenes look at our history-inspired adventures.

Join us as we talk about these real-world historic locations and learn about the events that continue to impact you today!

Supporters of the show!

Thank you to everyone who supports the show and keeps us up and running. Doing this with your support means that we can continue to share history and historic locations for years to come!
Support Talk with History now
J
Jack B $5
Thank you for the great podcasts and for sharing your passion! Love hearing about the locations you visit.