Thomas Jonathan Jackson served in the US Army, taught artillery and physics and participated as a General on the side of the Confederation in the American Civil War, through whose tactics he was early assigned the name "Stonewall" (stone wall).
Origin and teenage years:
Thomas was born on January 21, 1824 in Clarksburg, Virginia, the son of a lawyer. Two years after his birth, his father and older sister died of typhus. Due to the lack of income of his father, he and his mother quickly impoverished. Only when his mother remarried did the financial situation improve again.
From 1830, after the mother's wedding, Thomas was sent to his uncle to assist him in the farm work. During this time, Thomas took every free opportunity to attend school. Although he was characterized by good performance, but could not provide a higher school diploma.
In 1842, Thomas entered the West Point Military Academy in New York. Due to the fact that he did not have a high school diploma, Thomas often had difficulties in following the lesson at first. He also suffered from the bullying of his classmates. In 1846 he completed his training in West Point, was promoted to lieutenant and transferred to artillery.
The beginning of the military career:
During the war between the United States and Mexico, Thomas took part in several units in General Scott's unit. During this time, he was described by his superiors as dedicated, eager, talented and brave soldiers. Due to his efforts, he was awarded two Brevet promotions during the war and promoted to Brevet Major.
The time at the Virginia Military Institute:
After the Mexican-American War in 1851 Thomas was assigned a position at the Virginia Military Institute where he taught artillery and physics. During this time, he resigned officially from the US Army, but retained his rank as a major in the militia.
The relationship between Thomas and his students was mostly tense. Due to the high rejection of the students, a request was submitted during the period to withdraw Thomas from the apprenticeship. The headmistress rejected the application on the grounds that Thomas was not necessarily needed as a teacher of physics, but was indispensable in war science.
In his apprenticeship, the political situation between the southern states and the northern states in the slave question also came to a head until it led to the first splits and the founding of the Confederation.
The American Civil War:
On April 17, 1861, the state of Virginia joined other southern states from the Union and joined the newly formed Confederation. In the course of this, all soldiers who did not join the Northern States were integrated into the Southern Army. The Virginia Military Institute students were summoned to Richmond just 4 days after leaving Virginia to train other soldiers there. Thomas was promoted to colonel and relocated to Harpers Ferry in late April to organize militia forces there.
With these soldiers Thomas also participated in the Battle of Harpers Ferry, where he was promoted to the Brigadier General after the victory on 17 June. On July 2, 1861 was the next use in the battles of Hoke Run. Subsequently, the troops were relocated to Manassas in Virginia.
On July 21, the first battle took place on the Bull Run. There, Thomas earned his nickname "Stonewall" as the troops of Brigadier General Barnard Elliott Bees dodged the Northern troops, but the soldiers of Thomas could hold the line and thus offered the soldiers of the Confederation the opportunity to regroup and win the battle.
After winning the Bull Run, Thomas and his soldiers were subordinated to the Potomac Army and sent to the Shenandoah Valley. On October 7, he was promoted to Major General and on October 22, he was appointed Commander of the Shenandoah Valley Military District. At the end of March 1862 Thomas began his campaign against the troops of the northern states. During this campaign, Thomas consistently insisted on a quick strike before the enemy could organize, by force marches and concealment of his intentions so that no information could reach the enemy. Through these tactics Thomas was able to record several victories despite numerical inferiority and his tactics should be pioneers for later, modern military operations.
In mid-June 1862, Thomas relocated his troops from the Shenandoah Valley to disperse the siege of the Confederate capital Richmond through the northern states along with the troops of General Lee. During the battles, however, there was a lack of education and communication, so that no decisive victory could be won.
After the siege of Richmond was turned away, Thomas was given to 3 divisions to secure the left side of the General Lee-led Northern Virginia Army. In July 1862, Thomas was ordered to take action against the Northern troops of Major General John Pope to prevent them in another advance to the south and to bind his troops. On August 9, the city of Orange, Virginia witnessed the Battle of Cedar Mountain, which ended in a victory for Thomas.
On August 25, Thomas and his soldiers were able to bypass the remaining Northern troops of John Pope and destroy their supply base. He then entrenched himself with his soldiers and held the attack of the northern states for 2 days until the relief attack by Major General James Longstreet destroyed the troops of the northern states.
In September 1862, he took part in the Maryland Campaign with his soldiers, his mission being to protect the Northern Virginia Army. After a victory at Harpers Ferry, he was able to reunite with the Northern Virginia Army at Sharpsburg and prevent the northern states in a victory at the Battle of Antietam.
In October 1862, Thomas withdrew with his soldiers from Maryland and was promoted to lieutenant general on 10 October. On December 13, he led his soldiers in the Battle of Fredericksburg and was able to prevent a breakthrough of the northern states.
In May 1863, Thomas was in charge of the right wing of the Northern Virginia Army when it was attacked under the Northern Major General Joseph Hooker. Thomas submitted a plan for a flank attack to Supreme Commander Lee, who agreed. Thomas then went out on the night of 2 to 3 May on a reconnaissance mission for his attack. When he returned from the Enlightenment, he was shot at by his own soldiers who knew nothing of the Enlightenment. Despite his injury, his soldiers began a large-scale evasion of the enemy forces in a forced march to then them in the side to fall. This maneuver led to high losses on the part of the northern states and to a panic, with which the enemy units partially dissolved and fled. On May 5, the battle was won for the Confederacy.
Thomas Jonathan Jackson End of Life:
Due to the gunshot wound that Thomas received after the return of his reconnaissance mission, his left arm had to be amputated. However, his body was unable to recover from the injury, and Thomas died of pneumonia on May 10, 1863.
His funeral took place on May 15, 1863 in Lexington.