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Stonewall Jackson and the American Civil War   By: (1854-1903)

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First Page:

STONEWALL JACKSON

AND THE

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR

BY THE LATE

COLONEL G.F.R. HENDERSON. C.B.

AUTHOR OF "THE BATTLE OF SPICHEREN, A TACTICAL STUDY"

AND "THE CAMPAIGN OF FREDERICKSBURG."

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY FIELD MARSHAL THE

LATE RIGHT HONOURABLE VISCOUNT WOLSELEY, K.P., G.C.B., G.C.M.G., ETC.

IN TWO VOLUMES. VOLUME 1.

WITH PORTRAITS, MAPS, AND PLANS.

(PORTRAIT: T.J. JACKSON, LIEUTENANT GENERAL. "STONEWALL" JACKSON.)

TO MY FATHER.

INTRODUCTION.

Before the great Republic of the West had completed a century of independent national existence, its political fabric was subjected to the strain of a terrible internecine war. That the true cause of conflict was the antagonism between the spirit of Federalism and the theory of "States' Rights" is very clearly explained in the following pages, and the author exactly expresses the feeling with which most Englishmen regard the question of Secession, when he implies that had he been a New Englander he would have fought to the death to preserve the Union, while had he been born in Virginia he would have done as much in defence of a right the South believed inalienable. The war thus brought about dragged on its weary length from the spring of 1861 to the same season of 1865. During its progress reputations were made that will live for ever in American history, and many remarkable men came to the front. Among these not the least prominent was "Stonewall Jackson," who to the renown of a great soldier and unselfish patriot added the brighter fame of a Christian hero; and to those who would know what manner of man this Stonewall Jackson was, and why he was so universally revered, so beloved, so trusted by his men, I can cordially recommend Colonel Henderson's delightful volumes. From their perusal I have derived real pleasure and sound instruction. They have taught me much; they have made me think still more; and I hope they may do the same for many others in the British Army. They are worth the closest study, for few military writers have possessed Colonel Henderson's grasp of tactical and strategical principles, or his knowledge of the methods which have controlled their application by the most famous soldiers, from Hannibal to Von Moltke. Gifted with a rare power of describing not only great military events but the localities where they occurred, he places clearly before his readers, in logical sequence, the circumstances which brought them about. He has accomplished, too, the difficult task of combining with a brilliant and critical history of a great war the life story of a great commander, of a most singular and remarkable man. The figure, the character, the idiosyncrasies of the famous Virginian, as well as the lofty motives which influenced him throughout, are most sympathetically portrayed.

There have been few more fitted by natural instincts, by education, by study, and by self discipline to become leaders of men than Stonewall Jackson. From the day he joined that admirable school at West Point he may be said to have trained himself mentally, morally, and physically, for the position to which he aspired, and which it would seem he always believed he would reach. Shy as a lad, reserved as a man, speaking little but thinking much, he led his own life, devouring the experiences of great men, as recorded in military history, in order that when his time came he should be capable of handling his troops as they did. A man of very simple tastes and habits, but of strong religious principles, drawn directly from the Bible; a child in purity; a child in faith; the Almighty always in his thoughts, his stay in trouble, his guide in every difficulty, Jackson's individuality was more striking and more complete than that of all others who played leading parts in the great tragedy of Secession. The most reckless and irreligious of the Confederate soldiers were silent in his presence, and stood awestruck and abashed before this great God fearing man; and even in the far off Northern States the hatred of the formidable "rebel" was tempered by an irrepressible admiration of his piety, his sincerity, and his resolution... Continue reading book >>




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