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by Michael Gaddy, ©2016, blogging at The Rebel Madman

Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson was a leading commander of the Confederate Army until his death at the age of 39 from pneumonia

(Jan. 21, 2016) — I take a lot of pride in being an unapologetic and unreconstructed Confederate Rebel; perhaps you have noticed. If you have, it should come as no surprise to you at all that two of my historical heroes are Sons of the South. During the Colonial era, I do not believe a finer man could be found than Patrick Henry. As we look at those today who wish to amend the Constitution, most recently including the governor of Texas, perhaps the visions of Patrick Henry and how he predicted our government would  evolve into tyranny becomes even more relevant.

As a momentary aside: do not fall for any of these Convention of States or constitutional convention proposals that do not contain as their top two proposed amendments the elimination of the Federal Reserve and an enforcement mechanism that declares any member of the government, at any level, who violates their sacred oath to the Constitution to be immediately indicted and tried for treason with a no-plea-bargaining provision. Any proposal that does not contain those provisions is a fraud.

Now back to my favorite hero who was born after our founding era. That would be none other than Thomas Jonathan Jackson, born 192 years ago today in what is now Clarksburg, West Virginia.

I once stood in Jackson’s home in Lexington, Virginia where he lived while working as a professor at the Virginia Military Institute. I have stood on the spot where he was shot returning to his own lines, after dark, from a reconnaissance mission after the Confederacy’s resounding defeat of Fighting Joe Hooker’s Union army at the Battle of Chancellorsville. I placed a rose on the large stone that was put there by Confederate soldiers so the spot would not be forgotten. I have stood in the room of the house at Guinea Station which contains the bed where he succumbed to pneumonia on May 10th, 1863. I have placed lemons on his grave site in the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, Virginia. (Stonewall had a habit of sucking on lemons during the heat of battle) I have read every book available on his life and military exploits.

T.J. Jackson, like his immediate commander, Robert E. Lee, was a devoutly religious man. This stands in stark contrast to the two most prominent generals in the Union Army. Hiram Ulysses Grant was reported to have a serious drinking problem and owned slaves up until the enforcement of the 13th Amendment, so obviously he was not fighting to free the slaves. William Tecumseh Sherman had once been declared insane.

Only in the perverted Yankee mind or that of a big government sycophant could a criminal psychopath who waged unconditional war on civilians, burned private homes, debauched women, both black and white, destroyed millions in private property from Athens, Alabama, to Randolph, Tennessee, to Jackson and Meridian, Mississippi, to Atlanta, Georgia to Columbia, South Carolina be called a hero and a man of the character and moral fiber of Thomas J. (Stonewall) Jackson be portrayed as a traitor.

How many know the Smithsonian Magazine declared Sherman’s “March to the Sea” to have been the 4th worst ecological disaster in the history of the North American Continent?

Stonewall was not a man who lacked the courage to ignore or violate what he saw as an unconstitutional law. He taught Blacks to read and write when it was against the law to do so. He continued to his death to send money back to Lexington so those classes could continue.

Much more could be written about Jackson, but I believe his words present a much clearer picture of the man that was Stonewall than mine ever could. To that end I offer some of his words for your consideration.

To then Lt. Colonel J.E.B. Stuart when they first met and Stuart was initially reporting for duty:

“If the North triumphs, it is not alone the destruction of our property. It is the prelude to anarchy, infidelity, the ultimate loss of free and responsible government on this continent. It is the triumph of commerce, the banks, the factories. We should meet the invader on the outer verge of just and right defense and raise at once the black flag. No quarter to the violators of our homes and firesides.”

These words from Stonewall to the father of a man under his command when asked why Jackson supported Secession:

“As a Christian man my first allegiance is to God, then to my State, the State of Virginia. And every other state has a primal claim to the fealty of her citizens and may justly control their allegiance. If Virginia adheres to the United States, I adhere. Her determination must control mine. This is my understanding of patriotism. And though I love the Union, I love Virginia more.”

These are the words of Stonewall when he first addressed what would become the Stonewall Brigade. (Second, Fourth, Fifth, Twenty Seventh and Thirty Third Virginia Infantry Regiments and the Rockbridge Artillery Battery)

“Men of the Valley; Citizen Soldiers. I am here at the order of General Robert E. Lee, commanding all Virginia forces. On April 15, the year of our Lord, 1861, Simon Cameron, Secretary of War of the United States sent a telegram to our Governor, John Letcher directing him to raise three regiments of Infantry to be sent to assist in suppressing the Southern Confederacy. Governor Letcher’s answer is well known to you, but perhaps not his words. His wire to Washington stated ‘You have chosen to inaugurate Civil War and having done so we will meet you in a spirit as determined as the Lincoln administration has exhibited toward the South.’ Two days later the Virginia legislature voted for Secession. Just as we would not send any of our soldiers to march into other states and tyrannize other people, so we will never allow the army of others to march into our State and tyrannize our people. Like many of you, indeed most of you, I’ve always been a Union man. It is not with any joy or with light heart that many of us have welcomed Secession. Had our neighbors to the North practiced a less bellicose form of persuasion, perhaps this day might not have come. But that day has been thrust upon us, like it was thrust upon our ancestors. The Lincoln administration required us to raise three regiments. Tell him we have done so!”

Then, when explaining duty to a member of his command staff in late 1862:

“Mr. Pendleton, if the Republicans lose their little war; they’re voted out in the next election and they return to their homes in New York, or Massachusetts or Illinois, fat with their war profits; if we lose, we lose our country, we lose our independence, we lose it all.”

To General John Bell Hood right before the Battle of Chancellorsville when asked by Hood if Stonewall thought the would survive the war:

“No General Hood, nor would I want to if we do not prevail.”

Lastly, no commentary on Stonewall would be complete without his last words uttered before his death.

Let us cross over the river and rest beneath the shade of the trees.”

If the words of Stonewall were taught to our young people along with his dedication to his home state, his unshakable devotion to his faith, and his impeccable character, perhaps a truer understanding of why a war was fought to destroy the tenets of the Declaration of Independence and why the victors have gone to such lengths to pervert the truth would be much better understood.



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  1. one typically hears that the south fought for “liberty”. but jackson is cited here as saying,

    “If Virginia adheres to the United States, I adhere. Her determination must control mine. This is my understanding of patriotism.”

    were this to be said by an unknown man libertarians would immediately identify the view expressed here as “statist”. one might then observe that the war between the states was not liberty vs freedom, but simply at what level the state would exist – “state” or federal. this hardly seems worth fighting over.