I read that there is a splendid account of Chancellorsville by Ernest B. Furguson, titled “Chancellorsville 1863: The Souls of the  Brave,” the first to come out in more than 35 years, according to Carey Winfrey in Smithsonian’s July/August issue.

 The victory of the Confederates at Chancellorsville was due in large part to, as the author puts it “inspired risk-taking of Lee and Stonewall Jackson, who was mortally wounded by friendly fire”.

Kate Cumming, in her dairy “The Journal of a Confederate Nurse” says this about the loss of Jackson: “The  honor of taking this great man’s life was reserved for his own men, as if it were a sacrifice they offered to the Lord, as Jephthah gave up his daughter.”

This reference is from Judges 11:29-40 in the Old Testament, and it is the story of Jephthah, one of the warriors  of ancient Israel, who tells the Lord if He will give Israel victory in battle, that Jephthah will sacrifice to Him the first thing that comes out of his door upon his return. Yes, the Lord grants the victory, but alas, who comes out of the door first, but his beloved only daughter!

A tragic tale, but an analogy to ponder, when we consider the follies of war.