Lee-Jackson Day is when the Commonwealth of Virginia celebrates the birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. It is observed on the Friday before Martin Luther King Jr. Day. General Lee’s actual birthday is January 19, 1807 and General Jackson’s is January 21, 1824. Both Generals are best known for serving the Confederacy during the American Civil War and were highly regarded as brilliant tacticians by both the Union and Confederacy.
Stonewall Jackson was wounded by friendly fire when returning to camp after the Battle of Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863. Mistaken for Union Calvary, he was shot three times — twice in the left arm and once in the right hand. As a result of his injuries, General Jackson’s left arm had to be amputated and he developed pneumonia, which eventually took his life on May 10th, 1863. General Jackson left behind his wife Mary Anna and a newborn daughter Julia.
General Jackson’s death was a turning point in the Civil War (known in the South as the “War of Northern Aggression”). General Lee could give General Jackson non-specific orders and trust him to know and accomplish his ultimate goals. Jackson, being a skilled and decisive general, worked well with General Lee and had a very successful battle record. After General Jackson’s death, other generals did not understand General Lee as well; and, as a result, he missed sudden tactical opportunities that proved to be costly to the Confederacy.
Upon learning of General Jackson’s injuries, General Lee said, “Could I have directed events, I would have chosen for the good of the country to be disabled in your stead.”
|General Robert Edward Lee||General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson|
God help us!