Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born in Clarksville, (now West) Virginia on January 21, 1824, and he became an orphan at age three. He grew up under great privation and endured great hardship.
At age 18, Thomas Jackson entered West Point and began training for what would make him most famous. While there, another cadet shared his faith with Thomas, and the seed of the Gospel was implanted. Jackson began investigating Christianity and religions and at last made a public profession of his faith at the Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia. From that moment onward, he was a very different man!
He graduated from West Point in 1846.
He served with distinction in the Mexican War.
From 1851-1861, he taught at the Virginia Military Institute.
On Sunday, April 21, 1861, he and his cadets received orders to join the Confederate Army. He knelt with his wife in their bedroom for prayer. They opened the Bible and he read aloud:
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens (II Corinthians 5:1).
He got up and marched out, never to return home again.
After his experience at West Point, Thomas Jackson became a man of the Bible. He believed that every need in life could be met through the Bible. His military strategies that made him so famous were taken from the book of Joshua. When his wife Anna would read to him, Thomas would often interrupt her, asking her to underline a certain part of the reading. His Bibles are now on display at a museum, and those passages underlined match how he lived.
General Jackson was careful to tithe everything. He also founded and taught a Sunday school for black people in Lexington. During the Civil war, he took it upon himself to witness to the soldiers. Many soldiers were saved as a result. He also believed he should set a good example for his soldiers. From the day he entered active duty, he never took a leave.
General Jackson never entered a battle without first praying. He said that praying had become a habit permanently fixed in him. He said that because of this, he felt as safe during a battle as he did in bed. This was proved true when he stood as a stone wall during a battle, and the fact that he was never wounded while fighting. Also, as long as he was alive and praying, none of his staff members were ever killed or wounded. As soon as he died and his prayers stopped, several staff members were killed, and death wreaked havoc on them every day.
There is much more that can be said about General Jackson’s life than can be written here. The main points of his life though, are the facts that General Thomas Jackson was a great man of prayer, and he lived his life by the Bible. Every decision he made he took from the Bible, and he prayed fervently that everything he did would be God’s will. He strove to be more like Christ, as we should.
On May 2, 1863, General Jackson was accidently shot by one of his soldiers at Chancellorsville as he was scouting and pressing the battle forward in the dark. His left arm had to be amputated. Just before he died, he shared Romans 8:28 with the chaplain:
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).
General Jackson believed that God had a specific plan for his life, and as long as there was work to be done, he was immortal. He believed he was as safe in bed as on the battlefield.
General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died on May 10, 1863. It was a Sunday, and he said he always wanted to die on a Sunday!
Because General Jackson walked with God, his death was felt by enemies and friends to be more than the loss of ten thousand men. With the “Stonewall” removed from the war, the overstepping of Federal power was able to gain the upper hand. U.S. Constitutional guaranteed States rights were trampled and socialism began its tireless takeover of America. With the rights of the States defeated, Federal powers began their seemingly unchecked takeover of everything imaginable, becoming as seen today to be just short of a dictatorship.
William J. Federer, Great Quotations: A Collection of Passages, Phrases, and Quotations Influencing Early and Modern World History Referenced According to Their Sources in Literature, Memoirs, Letters, Governmental Documents, Speeches, Charters, Court Decisions and Constitutions (St. Louis, MO: AmeriSearch, 2001) ‘Jackson, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall”.’
Paul Lagass and Columbia University, The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. (New York; Detroit: Columbia University Press; Sold and distributed by Gale Group, 2000) “Jackson, Stonewall.”
J. Stephen Lang, 1,001 Things You Always Wanted to Know About the Bible (but Never Thought to Ask), electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1999), 29.
Elwood McQuaid, Come, Walk With Me: Poems, Devotionals, and Short Walks Among Pleasant People and Places (Bellmawr, New Jersey: The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., 1994) “Stonewall Jackson’s Bible.”
Robert J. Morgan, From This Verse: 365 Scriptures That Changed the World, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, c1998), October 31.
Jeffery Warren Scott with Mary Ann Jeffreys, “The Gallery—Fighters of Faith.” Christian History Magazine: Christianity & the Civil War (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, 1992), Issue 33.
Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon's Sermons, electronic ed., Logos Library System; (Albany, OR: Ages Software, 1998), Vol. 11, No. 632, “Consider before You Fight.”
Photo: Archival Reasearch Catalog (ARC), The National Archives, (www.archives.gov) ARC Identifier 528613/Local Identifier 111-B-4485; part of the series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes, compiled 1921 - 1940, documenting the period 1860 -1865; created by the War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, (08/01/1866 - 09/18/1947). We had a photo of Jeb Stuart until 7/21/2012, and appologize for any problems this may have caused. We wish especially to thank Chris of McVitamins for the email notice on 2/13, 2012 and Ron Blaylock for the email notice on 7/12/2012. We not only thank them for pointing out this error, but also desire to thank them for their kind words!