An email from a friend today reminded me of our recent trip to the Battle of Bull Run (or Manassas).There I was so moved with emotion when I saw the stature of General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson on his horse “Little Sorrel”. The statue stands where, during the heat of the battle, Jackson reportedly had stood like a stone wall, and received the nickname that would follow him the rest of his life.
I walked over to it and put my hand on the horse and said to the General, “why did you have to die when the Confederate army needed you so badly”? I have always admired this man so much, because he seemed to be a Christian who tried to live up the faith he professed.
Here are a few of his quotes which I took from Wikepeidea:
“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 your men have strength to follow; for an army routed, if hotly pursued, becomes panic-stricken, and can then be destroyed by half their number. The other rule is, never fight against heavy odds, if by any possible maneuvering you can hurl your own force on only a part, and that the weakest part, of your enemy and crush it. Such tactics will win every time, and a small army may thus destroy a large one in detail, and repeated victory will make it invincible.”
—Jackson to General Imboden
“To move swiftly, strike vigorously, and secure all the fruits of victory, is the secret of successful war.”
“The only true rule for cavalry is to follow the enemy as long as he retreats.”
—Jackson to Colonel Munford on June 13, 1862
“War means fighting. The business of the soldier is to fight. Armies are not called out to dig trenches, to live in camps, but to find the enemy and strike him; to invade his country, and do him all possible damage in the shortest possible time. This will involve great destruction of life and property while it lasts; but such a war will of necessity be of brief continuance, and so would be an economy of life and property in the end.”
—and Jackson (his last words)
“Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.”
There are a number of good biographies about his life and I think it is a life worth reading about and remembering, such as
Stonewall Jackson by James Robertson or Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War by Henderson.
Do you have a favorite? If so, let us know with a comment and thank you all who have commented on our blogs so much. We appreciate it!