LT. GENERAL THOMAS J. "STONEWALL" JACKSON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/24/1862 - HFSID 350522
THOMAS J. "STONEWALL" JACKSON
In this rare, war-dated letter, Jackson handwrote and signed a recommendation that cavalry commander W. E. Jones be promoted to brigadier general during the American Civil War. Jackson wrote this letter less than eight months before his death at Chancellorsville and two years before Jones' death at the Battle of Piedmont. Neither man would live to see the end of the war.
Autograph letter signed "T.J. Jackson" in pencil, 2 pages (front and verso), 7¾x9¾ ruled paper. Sept. 24, 1862. Addressed to General S. Cooper, "Adjt. & Insp. General CSA". In full: "Headquarters V. Dist./Sept 24th, 1862/General,/I respectfully recommend/that Colonel W. E. Jones of the 7th Va. Cavly./be promoted to a brigadier general/of cavalry and assigned to the brigade/lately commanded by Brig. Genl. B. H./ Robertson of which Col. Jones regt. formed/a part. Col. J. graduated at West Point/in 1848, was for several years in the mounted/service of the United States; at the opening/of the present war, he brought a company/of cavalry into our service, and was appointed Col./of the 1st Va. Cavalry where he continued to/serve until the reorganization of the regiment when/he was not retained. When the Cavalry of the/Valley District was organized, he was appointed/colonel of the 7th Regiment, in which position/he served under my command and greatly to my/satisfaction. I have found him prompt and effi-/cient in the discharge of every duty. His disposition/is to be near the enemy and ever on the alert. His/engagement with the enemy at Orange Court/House was highly creditable to him, and should/he be entrusted with the command of a brigade/much valuable service may be anticipated should/opportunities offer. I am not acquainted with/any other field officer of Cavalry whom I regard/as so well qualified for commanding a brigade as/Colonel Jones./ I am ever your obdt. servt./T. J. Jackson Maj. Genl" This letter is dated four days after the Battle of Shepherdstown on Sept. 19 and 20, which ended in a Confederate victory and helped prevent the Union army from pursuing General Lee's retiring army, and five days before Union troops were routed by artillery fire at the Battle of Newtonia on Sept. 30. It was written less than eight months before Jackson's death. THOMAS J. "STONEWALL" JACKSON (1824-1863) has been called one of the most gifted tactical commanders, and certainly one of the most audacious, in American history, though he was reported shy and stern as a man. As a child, Jackson taught one of his uncle's slaves, who later escaped to Canada, to read, an illegal act. He graduated from West Point in 1946 and was assigned to the Mexican American War, where he met Lee. He showed his legendary audaciousness on the battlefield early, refusing a superior officer's order to leave during the siege at Chapultepec Castle, which gave an opening exploited by relieving American troops. Jackson was a colonel when the Civil War broke out but was quickly promoted to brigadier general. He served with distinction at many major battles, including the First Battle of Bull Run, the Shenandoah Valley campaign and Fredericksburg, quickly gaining a reputation as General Lee's best general. He gained his nickname "Stonewall" during the First Battle of Bull Run by supplying reinforcements to the crumbling Confederate lines. Another Confederate general rallied his troops by saying, "There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Follow me." But Jackson is probably best known for enveloping the Union army's right wing at Chancellorsville. Military officers study this maneuver even today. Ironically, Jackson died almost immediately after this battle, when Confederate troops mistakenly fired on him. He lost his right arm, and pneumonia set in after the amputation, which killed him a week later. His death was a loss that weakened, not only the Confederate army, but the Confederate cause in general. WILLIAM EDMONDSON JONES (1824-1864) received the promotion Jackson recommends in this later and distinguished himself as a cavalry leader at Brandy Station (1863) and other battles. After disagreements with his superior, General J. E. B. "Jeb" Stuart, Jones was reassigned to a more remote command, where he continued to distinguish himself with daring cavalry raids. He was killed at the Battle of Piedmont (June 5, 1864), while encouraging his troops from the front line, as Jackson predicted he would. Not framed by the Gallery of History. Lightly toned. Signature and text light but very legible. Pin hole at top of page. Small tear on right side. Otherwise in fine condition. Framed to ovall size of 42x26.
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