A few weeks ago, we wrote an article called “We will Honor Who we Want to Honor” where we said (not surprisingly) we will honor who we want to honor and not who we are bullied . . . uh, encouraged to honor. One of the people we admire is Stonewall Jackson, one of the South’s greatest generals during The War Between the States.
Stonewall Jackson is one of our biggest heroes, but he was a little eccentric. I read a book about Stonewall Jackson a while ago, and it said that when he was teaching at the Virginia Military Institute, he required that his students learn the material in the exact order as it was listed in the book. For instance, one time Jackson asked a cadet to name the three simple machines. The student said, “The inclined plane, the lever, and the wheel,” to which Jackson replied, “No sir! The lever, the wheel, and the inclined plane.” That was the order that it was in the textbook. I guess Jackson wasn’t a very good teacher, but he was an excellent general.
At Moss Neck, Jackson had a lot of visitors to his office. Whenever a visitor entered Jackson’s office, Jackson would stand up and say, “Let me take your hat, sir.” There was usually no suitable place for it, so Jackson would drop the hat on the floor. I thought that was really funny. I wonder what his guests did after that.
Even though he had some odd ways, Jackson was a very good general and he also had great character.
Some people say that Stonewall Jackson fought so that the South could keep their slaves, but that is a myth. He fought to defend his country. Jackson always treated all people with respect and in fact, he broke the law so that he could teach slaves to read. Later on, a lot of the slaves that he taught to read came to his funeral. There is another myth that says that Jackson had a love for lemons. The truth is, Jackson liked all fruit, especially peaches.
Most people know Thomas J. Jackson as Stonewall Jackson, but here are a few of his other nicknames that he earned. His students at VMI called him “Square Box” for his big feet and “Old Jack” for his solemn manner. He was also called “Tom Fool” and “Old Hickory”
By the way, the book I read was All Things for Good The Steadfast Fidelity of Stonewall Jackson by J. Steven Wilkens.