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Thomas Jonathan Jackson was born on the 21st of January, 1824. 2 years later, his 6-year old sister died of typhoid fever. A short time afterward, his father died of the same disease, leaving his mother to care for 4 children by herself. A few years later she married Blake Woodson. Thomas and his siblings were disliked by their stepfather, and he was raised mostly by his uncle. Thomas Jackson went to West Point, the famous military school. HIs classmates teased him about his poor family. Even so, Jackson did well, finishing 17th in a class of 59.
After graduating, there was a new life staring him in the face. He fought for the U.S. during the Mexican War. He was a lieutenant in the 1st U.S. Artillery at the beginning of the war, but grew to the rank of brevet major. When he returned to civilian life, he became a teacher. Jackson married Elinor Junkin, the daughter of a minister. Sadly Elinor died in childbirth. In 1857 he married Mary Anne Morrison. Two years later he got a daughter. Unfortunately she died within the first month of her life. In 1862 they had another baby girl whom of which they named Julia. But before that, Jackson had made an important, unorthodox, decision. Virginia seceded from the Union in 1861. Thomas Jackson deciding to follow his state, supported the Confederacy. In the 1st Battle of Bull Run, also known as The 1st battle of Manassas, a Confederate officer said that Jackson was standing like a stone wall! Therefore Jackson was dubbed “Stonewall” Jackson. 2 years later, a controversial incident killed the famous Stonewall Jackson.
In 1863 Stonewall was a victim of friendly fire. It’s pretty odd because Jackson was liked by his men. He was shot twice in the left arm and once in the right hand. The doctors knew right away that they couldn’t save the left arm. They amputated the arm. (Do NOT do that at home, kids!) After the amputation, Jackson did okay. But on the fourth day he developed pneumonia. On the eighth day, May 10, 1863, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson closed his eyes for the last time.The death of Stonewall Jackson completely changed the Civil War for Virginia. Without him Virginia might have been completely destroyed in the beginning of the war by the North. He changed military tactics. But nothing can live forever, except for memories.
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