Hey, Y’all and Happy Confederate Memorial Day! I’m back with another 10 Totally Random Facts post! It’s been…*Checks to see when the last one was* nine months since I did one! Yikes! Well, it’s high time we bring this series back! May 10th is the anniversary of the death of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Only 39 years old when he died, this amazing Confederate General is respected by northerners and southerners alike. Below, to celebrate this fine Christian’s memory, I’ve got 10 Totally Random Facts about him! Enjoy!
1. Stonewall Jackson is not a West Virginian. I’m sorry to all you Mountaineers out there, but Stonewall Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Va. Today, yes, this is part of West Virginia. But West Virginia wasn’t a state at the time and did not become a state until over a month after his death.
2. Stonewall Jackson was a teetotaler. Finding out as a young man that he had a natural desire for tobacco and alcohol, Jackson decided then and there that he would have no part in them. He feared anything a man could become addicted to. In fact, when he was wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville, when his men tried to give him whiskey to dull the pain, he initially refused to drink it. (During that time soldiers carried it into battle as a medication/disinfectant. They didn’t have many of the medications we have today. This is not a justification, just an explanation.)
3. He only lost one battle. That’s right! Only one battle stained his pristine record, the Battle of Kernstown. (Read about this battle in my book “Our Heritage to Save” to find out why he lost this battle…and if he was really to blame!)
4. He had three children. Stonewall was married twice. His first wife, Elinor Junkin, gave birth to a stillborn son in 1854, who they never named. Elinor died shortly after her son. Later he married Mary Anna Morrison. They had a daughter, Mary Graham, who died in 1858 of a liver dysfunction. In 1862, Julia Laura was born, the only surviving child of Stonewall Jackson.
5. His horse’s name was “Little Sorrel.” Stonewall had originally purchased the horse from the Confederate war department as a gift for his wife. The horse had been captured from a Union supply line during the early days of the war. After riding the horse for a bit, he decided to keep him and send Anna another. People teased that the General’s feet would drag the ground because the sorrel was so little. The name stuck, making him the most famous Confederate war horse, next to Traveler 😊
6. The Bayonet was his favorite weapon. Gen. Jackson believed in keeping the peace if possible, but once a war was begun, he believed in getting it over with. He had his men drilled with the bayonet, some believe, to an excess, making sure they knew how to use it. His famous nickname came about because of a bayonet, actually. Confederate Gen. Bernard Bee approached him during the First Battle of Manassas Junction and informed him that Bee’s men were being beaten back. Gen. Jackson replied, “Well then, sir, we will give them the bayonet!” After this bold statement, Bee returned to his men and declared, “Rally men! Look, there is Jackson, standing like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!” From that point on, Jackson was known as “Stonewall” and his men as “The Stonewall Brigade.” In fact, after the General’s death, the men got their brigade’s name officially changed from the 1st Virginia Brigade to the Stonewall Brigade.
7. Jackson had a sister who supported the Union. Laura Jackson Arnold and Stonewall had always been very close until the War Between the States erupted. Laura supported the Union, while Stonewall became the most loved General of the South. She said once that she would patch up the Union soldiers as fast as her brother could wound them. They never saw each other again. But even though she broke off their relationship, Stonewall showed his unending love for his little sister by naming his daughter Julia Laura, after his mother and sister, respectively.
8. Stonewall only bought one home. While a professor at the Virginia Military Institute, he bought a home on Washington Street. Today, it is the Home of the Stonewall Jackson House Museum. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my bucket list!
9. He gave himself a middle name. Stonewall was the only child in his family that didn’t have a middle name. It bothered him, especially when he was to enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point. So, when his turn came to sign his name, he added his deceased father’s name to his own, Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
10. He married a North Carolina Gal! Yes, Mary Anna Morrison was a Tar Heel girl, even though the nickname came about during the war. Another fun fact about her family is that her sister Isabella was married to D. H. Hill, another Confederate General, and friend of Stonewall Jackson!
I could easily have made this into a 20+ Totally Random Facts post, but it’s got to end somewhere. 😊 Thank you for baring with me as I bragged on my absolute favorite American Hero! He was truly a great man of God and there are not enough words to express how I feel about him!
Something to think about: What are some of your favorite facts about Stonewall Jackson? If you have a blog, why not list your favorites there in honor of his memory? If you don’t, share them with a friend!
Supporting my Heritage,
Hey Y’all! Good to be back in the blogosphere! Hope you are having a great week so far! So, I really enjoyed that post on Nicknames that I did a few months ago, so I decided to do a sequel! Hope you enjoy!
Tom Fool: A name not so lovely bestowed on General Thomas “Stonewall Jackson” by his Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.) Cadets at the beginning of the war, because of his odd mannerisms. This was quickly changed to the much loved “Stonewall” following the First Battle of Manassas Junction.
The Grand Creole: This one makes me smile! It’s the name given to Gen. Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard (Say that five times fast!). Being a French Creole from Louisiana, and having a reputation for being haughty at times, this name fits the Frenchman well.
King of Spades: A little known nickname for our revered General Robert E. Lee. Prior to his well-known campaigns against numerous Union generals, Lee was in charge of the Richmond defenses. He made his men dig a series of trenches around the city, thus the nickname. But I don’t recall any grumblings when the trenches later came in handy in 1864-65, protecting the soldiers during the Petersburg/Richmond campaign. It has been said that this tactic used by Lee was influential in the WWI trench warfare a few decades later.
Pathfinder of the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury, a noted oceanographer, was the first man to identify the Gulf Stream. He was in the Confederate Navy.
Rooney: This is an example of a childhood nickname lasting through to adulthood. Gen. William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, the second son of Gen. Robert E. Lee, is more commonly known by Rooney.
Dizzy Miss Lizzy: Richmond native, Miss Elizabeth Van Lew, turned traitor to her country and operated a spy ring out of the Confederate capitol. She was known for acting insane, helping to shield her from suspicion.
Old Blood and Whiskers: Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. Perhaps he was branded with this name for his Vicksburg campaign. It certainly was appropriate, especially at Cold Harbor, when he vainly threw his tired and ill prepared men at the Confederate troops.
Old Blinky: This name was given to Union Major Gen. William French because of his habit of constantly blinking while talking.
Cump: This nonsense name was given to William Tecumseh Sherman by his family growing up. His soldiers called him “Uncle Billy.” The South referred to him as a “Nightmare,” a “Ghoul” and a “Hyena.” You decide which you think fits best.
Little Napoleon: Gen. George McClellan sported this nickname, though he lacked the battlefield bravery of his namesake. It was probably given to him for the way he carried himself. Being short, he tried to make himself look taller.
Something to think about: Take a few minutes to think about your own nicknames. Do you think they fit you or not?
I hope you enjoyed this post! Have a blessed day!
Hey! I’ve got a fun post for y’all today! I don’t know about you, but I love nicknames! Especially Civil War nicknames! So, I’m gonna give you a list of some famous (and not so famous) Southern and Northern nicknames! Enjoy!
Stonewall: General Thomas Jonathan Jackson was the owner of this special name. At the Battle of First Manassas on July 21st, 1861, C.S. General Bernard Bee stated to his men, “…There is Jackson, standing like a stone wall.” The South Carolinians under his command banded together and stood with the Virginians under Jackson, helping the Southern forces to carry the day. “Stonewall” stuck to Jackson and his brigade. Interestingly, Gen. Jackson is better known by his nickname than his real name!
Old Granny: This may surprise you, but this nickname belongs to none other than Gen. Robert E. Lee! Many Southern officers didn’t think Lee could make it as a field officer, since during the opening months of the war, his jobs were that of an engineer and military counselor. But this Mexican War veteran soon proved to be an expert on the field. Some of his tactics are still studied today!
Old Pete or Gloomy Pete: This name stuck to Gen. James Longstreet. Why Pete? I have no idea. But this Southern General was known for being a bit pessimistic and acted a bit like an “old man”. A more positive nickname he was given by Gen. Lee was “Old War Horse.”
Old Blue Light: Another nickname for Gen. Jackson. Stonewall had piercing blue eyes and his men described how when they were preparing for battle, the general’s eyes would light up.
The Last Cavalier: Gen. James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart was a prominent Confederate Cavalry man. His men baffled Union forces time and time again, circling the Union Army of the Potomac twice. Known for his chivalry and jaunty air, J.E.B. Stuart truly was the last of the legendary cavaliers.
Unconditional Surrender: This name belonged to Ulysses Simpson Grant or “U.S.” Grant. This name stems from his order for “Unconditional Surrender” from the Confederates holed up in Ft. Donelson. This excited the Union press, who dubbed him “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”
Little Mac: Gen. George B. McClellan wasn’t the tallest Northern General, but no commander was more loved by his men, in spite of the fact that he wasn’t that great of a tactician.
Spoons: This nickname is strange and certainly not a complement. Gen. Benjamin Butler was the man who overthrew New Orleans and set up housekeeping there. He’s dictatorship of the city is often criticized and the Southerners said he would stoop so low as to steal silverware. In all seriousness, that was the last thing the New Orleans population had to be concerned about.
Rock of Chickamauga: Gen. George Henry Thomas earned this nickname for standing firmly during said battle. It did little good though, for the Confederates won a hard fought victory in this Georgia territory.
Drummer Boy of Shiloh: John “Lincoln” Clem is hailed as one of the youngest Union soldiers to fight in the war. The nickname is actually steeped in legend as official records show that Johnny didn’t start on with the Federals until after the famous battle of Shiloh. He was present in the 1863 Georgia campaign and was even taken prisoner. Later exchanged, the boy’s story was noised throughout the South, since he was an honorary sergeant at that point. They stated that the Union troops were in dire straits since they were pulling babies from the nursery and promoting them to sergeant. Clem was actually a drummer and courier. J
There are so many fun nicknames, I could do a series on just those! I hope you enjoyed this sampling…maybe I’ll do another nickname post sometime!
Have a blessed day!
Supporting My Heritage,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.